The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) special report, released a few days ago, reflects an urgent need for countries to establish public-health strategies aimed at preventing cardiovascular diseases by underscoring the global action needed to disseminate information and implement health programs, especially in hard-to-reach countries. While cardiovascular disease rates are high globally, regions of Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East were estimated to have the highest burden of CVD mortality. To better understand the initiatives being taken by the pharma industry in this direction, BioSpectrum Asia spoke to Ajay Tiku, Region Medical Head, Innovative Medicines, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMA) at Novartis.
What is the current burden of cardiovascular diseases in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMA) region?
Globally, every minute 34 people die from cardiovascular disease (CVD) with more than five of those deaths occurring in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMA). Although an estimated 80% of premature CVD events are preventable, it remains the leading cause of death in Asia with Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease (ASCVD) being the most common type of CVD.
Treating ASCVD can put an economic and manpower strain on national healthcare systems and it is estimated that by 2030, the total global cost of CVD will top $1 trillion.
At Novartis, we are working toward a generational decline of cardiovascular mortality. Since there are often no obvious signs and symptoms of high cholesterol or heart disease, it is hard for individuals to physically feel and know when they might be at risk – our goal is to empower people to take action for their own heart health. This includes getting their cholesterol checked, know what their LDL-c is, as one of the first steps to minimising the risk of developing heart problems in the future.
Is Novartis collaborating with different governments to improve cardiovascular healthcare in APMA region, and how?
Given the complexity and size of challenge in our region, no one party can tackle this alone, so it is critical that stakeholders from across the healthcare ecosystems, including governments and industry leaders like Novartis, work together to transform and improve cardiovascular care in the region.
With this in mind, Novartis spearheaded the Unblocked Movement , an initiative co-created with partners to bring patients, their loved o...