According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, every seven minutes a Canadian suffers a heart attack, and one other experiences unstable angina, a form of chest pain which can lead to a heart attack.
Not to worry, PLAVIX, chemically known as clopidogrel bisulfate, has been approved for the prevention of ischemic events, myocardial infarction (heart attack), stroke and cardiovascular death in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). ACS is defined as unstable angina and non Q-wave myocardial infarction (one type of heart attack).
Not only does this Health Canada decision echoe the recent American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association announcement that included PLAVIX in their guidelines for treating ACS as well as a similar approval for PLAVIX in the US, but it is also based on the conclusive and postive results of the CURE (Clopidogrel in Unstable Angina to Prevent Recurrent Events) study, led by Salim Yusuf, M.D., of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, principal investigator for the CURE trial.
“There are more than 100,000 people each year in Canada who will develop ACS who could now benefit from PLAVIX,” says Salim Yusuf, M.D., of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, principal investigator for the CURE trial. “Based on the CURE results, if PLAVIX were given to people with ACS, it could reduce the occurrence of thousands of heart attacks, strokes and cardiovascular deaths in Canada each year.”
Recently published, the study consisted of over 12,500 patients with ACS. PLAVIX and placebo were compared with both groups receiving standard therapy including asprin. The results showed that using PLAVIX significantly reduced the risk of heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular death by 20 percent (P=0.00009) in patients with mild heart attack or unstable angina.
PLAVIX is already approved in the prevention of heart attack, stroke and vascular death in patients with a history of recent heart attack, recent stroke or established peripheral arterial disease (poor circulation in the legs which may cause pain). To date, more than 11 million patients worldwide have been treated with PLAVIX.
It is important to note, atherothrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms and obstructs blood flow to vital organs due to tear or rupture of the fatty depositis (plaque) that line the inner wall of an artery blood vessel. This is dangerous because the clot can grow until it completely blocks the artery and blood flow. As a result stroke, myocardial infarction and death could occur.
On the other hand, ACS is a severe and sudden heart condition that includes unstable angina (unpredictable intermediate stage between stable anginc and a heart attack) and non-a-wave myocardial infraction (one type of heart attack). The best treatment for this includes oral anti-platelet agents (ASA, PLAVIX*) and anticoagulants (heparin, warfarin).
PLAVIX is part of an agreement between Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Synthelabo for the codevelopment and marketing of two compounds from Sanofi-Synthelabo Research. For more information on PLAVIX, please contact