Heart(y) news, December 11

December 11, 2009 by  

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worldnewsSome heart(y) news update for you this weekend…

Dronedarone approved in European Union
The  antiarrhythmia drug dronedarone (Multaq) has been approved in the EU. The drug is already approved in the US and Canada. [It] is indicated for use in adults with a history of or current nonpermanent atrial fibrillation (AF) to prevent recurrence of AF or to lower ventricular rate. Multaq is a much safer alternative to a similar drug amiodarone which had undesirable side effects. Multaq is produced by Sanofi Aventis.

Proposed device tax in health reform bill creates angst among device makers and cardiologists
The new US healthcare inform includes new tax legislations for medical devices. The new bill requires a 2.5% tax on medical devices starting 2013. Understandably, medical devices manufacturers are not too happy about this provision. They claim this will have an impact on innovation since the additional costs can cut into the research and development budget. According to the CEO of Medtronic Bill Hawkins, the new tax legislation will

“…invariably impact our investment decisions on new therapy development, jobs, and global competitiveness. Most important, this can serve to diminish patient access to new, lifesaving medical technologies. While we will work our level best to minimize these impacts, they are real, and they should not be overlooked.”

Increased MI, dyslipidemia with fosamprenavir
The US FDA issued an alert regarding the drug fosamprenavir calcium (Lexiva). The drug increases the risk for cardiac events such as heart attack ad well as dyslipidemia in people who are HIV-positive.
Lexiva is a prodrug of amprenavir, a protease inhibitor used to treat infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1)… [It] is indicated in combination with other antiretroviral agents for the treatment of HIV infection in adults.

S. Korea’s Obesity Rate Lowest in OECD
Asian countries have the lowest obesity rates among the member countries of the OECD. South Korea tops the chart with 3.5%, followed by Japan with 3.9%: In comparison, the US has the highest overall obesity rate of 34.3%.

New imaging technique reveals different heart motions by age, gender
Gender matters, age matters, when it comes to heart movements. This is the based on findings using a new, noninvasive imaging technique. The technique is called magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tissue phase mapping, which produced “the most precise measurements yet of the left ventricle’s complex motions as it contracts and relaxes with each heartbeat.” The results showed that young women have fasted up and down velocities along the axis of the ventricle than men. However, the difference is reversed with age.

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