Munich, Germany (26 September, 2016) – Daiichi Sankyo Europe GmbH welcomes the publication of the new European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Management of Atrial Fibrillation Guidelines, which highlight the importance of preventing stroke and moving toward an integrated approach to patient care across healthcare systems.1 The guidelines echo recommendations from the Future of Anticoagulation Report2 which last year called for urgent action to reduce the impact of atrial fibrillation (AF) in Europe, for which prevalence is expected to at least double to nearly 18 million by 2060.3
The Future of Anticoagulation Report, featuring input from a panel of leading European medical, patient group and health economic experts, and researched and written by RAND Europe, identified the need for improved AF detection and diagnosis, through increased public awareness of AF and opportunistic screening.2 This recommendation is now recognised in the new ESC AF Guidelines, which place greater emphasis on early detection of AF and include evidence based support for opportunistic and targeted screening for AF.1 The Report further highlighted the need for continued improvement in patient stratification based on biomarkers,2 a point that is now specifically addressed in the Guidelines.1
The Report recommendations also call for health systems to align with current evidence on the effectiveness of therapies and other management interventions in AF related stroke prevention.2 In line with this and following recent treatment developments, the new Guidelines recommend non-VKA oral anticoagulants, or NOACs (including edoxaban, apixaban, dabigatran, and rivaroxaban) in preference to Vitamin K antagonists for stroke prevention in AF patients (class 1A recommendation, based on the level of evidence).1
Reflecting on advances in technology, both the Report and subsequently the Guidelines support the wider use of technology in the form of smartphone apps to support education and improved management for patients and healthcare professionals.1,2 The new ESC AF Guidelines also reflect the Report’s recommendation for an integrated approach to patient care; with guidance supporting the development of multidisciplinary AF teams, which encompass multiple levels of healthcare systems, and place patients at the forefront of care.1
“It’s difficult to overstate the impact that AF could have on healthcare systems in Europe over the next few decades,” said Trudie C. Lobban MBE, Founder & CEO of the Atrial Fibrillation Association and Steering Committee member of the Future of Anticoagulation Report. “AF is a condition that already claims thousands of lives and leaves many more severely disabled. We urgently need to see improvements in care for people with AF, and it’s promising to see that the findings from the Future of Anticoagulation Report are being recognised and that the new ESC AF Guidelines are meeting some of the needs identified.”
Awareness of AF and stroke prevention are at the heart of addressing the burden of this condition. Acute stroke is a common first presentation of AF, and one in five strokes are caused by AF.4 Furthermore, a third of people with AF will die as a result of their first stroke and those who survive are 50% more likely to be disabled or handicapped three months after the event.5 With costs associated with AF estimated at €26-30 billion per year,2 and its ever increasing prevalence, it is imperative that improvements are made now to turn the tide on this important healthcare issue.
“The Future of Anticoagulation Report is a valuable resource for stakeholders across Europe to inform on necessary changes needed to improve patient care” said Oliver Appelhans, Senior Vice President Head of Cardiovascular Products, Business Development & NPP at Daiichi Sankyo Europe GmbH. “We are proud to support the development of the Report, contributing to the existing breadth of knowledge in this area, and pleased to see important changes reflected in the new ESC AF Guidelines.”
To find out more about The Future of Anticoagulation Report, download it free from: http://www.rand.org/randeurope/research/projects/future-of-anticoagulation.html.
The ESC AF Guidelines are available to view at: http://eurheartj.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/08/26/eurheartj.ehw210
AF is a condition where the heart beats irregularly and rapidly. When this happens, blood can pool and thicken in the chambers of the heart causing an increased risk of blood clots. These blood clots can break off and travel through the blood stream to the brain (or sometimes to another part of the body), where they have the potential to cause a stroke.6
AF is the most common type of heart rhythm disorder, and is associated with substantial morbidity and mortality.7 More than six million Europeans are diagnosed with AF, and this figure is expected to at least double over the next 50 years.3,4 Compared to those without AF, people with the arrhythmia have a 3-5 times higher risk of stroke.8 One in five of all strokes are as a result of AF.4
About the Future of Anticoagulation Report
The Future of Anticoagulation Report was published by RAND Europe and features input from 10 leading European medical, patient group and health economic experts.2 It provides short- and long-term recommendations to support improvements in AF awareness among the public and also informs policymakers, healthcare bodies and healthcare professionals on changes needed to improve AF management for patients.2 The Future of Anticoagulation initiative was supported financially and in kind by Daiichi Sankyo Europe.
About RAND Europe
RAND Europe is a not-for-profit research organisation that helps improve policy and decision making through research and analysis. Data collection, analysis and Report development were performed by RAND Europe in collaboration with an independent Steering Committee. The Future of Anticoagulation Report is located at: www.rand.org/randeurope/research/projects/future-of-anticoagulation.html. More information on RAND Europe can be found at www.randeurope.org.
About Daiichi Sankyo
Daiichi Sankyo Group is dedicated to the creation and supply of innovative pharmaceutical products to address diversified, unmet medical needs of patients in both mature and emerging markets. With over 100 years of scientific expertise and a presence in more than 20 countries, Daiichi Sankyo and its 16,000 employees around the world draw upon a rich legacy of innovation and a robust pipeline of promising new medicines to help people. In addition to a strong portfolio of medicines for hypertension and thrombotic disorders, under the Group’s 2025 Vision to become a “Global Pharma Innovator with Competitive Advantage in Oncology,” Daiichi Sankyo research and development is primarily focused on bringing forth novel therapies in oncology, including immuno-oncology, with additional focus on new horizon areas, such as pain management, neurodegenerative diseases, heart and kidney diseases, and other rare diseases. For more information, please visit: www.daiichisankyo.com.
Lydia Worms (Europe)
Daiichi Sankyo Europe GmbH
Edoxaban Communications & Product PR Europe
+49 (89) 7808751
This press release contains forward-looking statements and information about future developments in the sector, and the legal and business conditions of DAIICHI SANKYO Co., Ltd. Such forward-looking statements are uncertain and are subject at all times to the risks of change, particularly to the usual risks faced by a global pharmaceutical company, including the impact of the prices for products and raw materials, medication safety, changes in exchange rates, government regulations, employee relations, taxes, political instability and terrorism as well as the results of independent demands and governmental inquiries that affect the affairs of the company. All forward-looking statements contained in this release hold true as of the date of publication. They do not represent any guarantee of future performance. Actual events and developments could differ materially from the forward-looking statements that are explicitly expressed or implied in these statements. DAIICHI SANKYO Co., Ltd. assume no responsibility for the updating of such forward-looking statements about future developments of the sector, legal and business conditions and the company.
1. Kirchhof P, et al. 2016 ESC Guidelines for the management of atrial fibrillation developed in collaboration with EACTS. European Heart Journal. doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehw210.
2. Lichten, C., Castle-Clarke, S., Manville, C., Horvath, V., Robin, E., Krapels, J., Parks, S., Sim, M., van Zijverden, O., Chataway, J. (2015). The future of anticoagulation management in atrial fibrillation in Europe: An assessment of today’s challenges with recommendations for the future. RAND Corporation. 2 June 2015. Available at: www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1053.html
3. Krijthe, B.P., et al. ‘Projections on the number of individuals with atrial fibrillation in the European Union from 2000 to 2060.’ European Heart Journal 2013; 34; (35): 2746–51.
4. Camm, A. et al. Guidelines for the management of atrial fibrillation: the Task Force for the Management of Atrial Fibrillation of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). European Heart Journal. 2010;31:2369–429.
5. Lamassa M, et al. Characteristics, Outcome, and Care of Stroke Associated With Atrial Fibrillation in Europe Data From a Multicenter Multinational Hospital-Based Registry (The European Community Stroke Project). Stroke 2001;32:392–8.
6. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute – What is Atrial Fibrillation. Available at: www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/af/af_diagnosis.html. [Last accessed: September 2016].
7. Iqbal MB, et al. Recent developments in atrial fibrillation. BMJ. 2005;330(7485):238–43.
8. Ball J, et al. Atrial fibrillation: Profile and burden of an evolving epidemic in the 21st century. Int J Card. 2013;167:1807-1824.