A new white paper sponsored by Amgen has found rehabilitation services designed to prevent hospital readmission are key to reducing the incidence and cost of recurring heart attacks or strokes.
The paper, 'The Cost of Inaction: Secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease in Asia-Pacific', has been released by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
It includes a scorecard based on an assessment of the policy response to cardiovascular disease (CVD) across eight countries, including Australia, mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.
The paper finds Australia has been the only country of the eight to implement a comprehensive public health awareness campaign focussed on the secondary prevention of CVD.
According to the paper, an estimated 80 per cent of CVD, including heart disease and stroke, is preventable. It says lowering bad cholesterol (LDL-C) reduces cardiovascular events. However, it says patients in Asia-Pacific are routinely not meeting guideline-defined LDL-C goals due to lack of medication adherence.
Amgen is the maker of the PBS-listed cholesterol-lowering biologic REPATHA (evolocumab).
“Patients who have experienced a heart attack or stroke carry a 30% higher risk of another event over the ensuing four years," said Vernon Kang, CEO of Singapore Heart Foundation.
"Furthermore, two in three stroke survivors experience disabilities, such as paralysis or loss of vision. As a result, survivors may be unable to work or study, and may require the support of family members. This can pull family caregivers away from employment, training or education. As such, CVD-related disability can disrupt households and threaten family stability."
The paper finds the annual cost of heart disease across the eight assessed markets is approximately US$46.3 billion.
Yet it also finds a variable approach to policies and clinical guidelines with significant room for improvement.
According to Amgen vice president and regional general manager, Penny Wan, “In many countries, good emergency care stops people dying from a heart attack or stroke. However, these patients are at higher risk of having another attack, which is compounded by lack of follow-up care, making future events more difficult to manage.
“Amgen is committed to working as part of a coordinated, multi-stakeholder approach to shift healthcare models from ‘Break It Fix It’, to one that seeks to ‘Predict and Prevent’ to support patients and health care systems to become more resilient to health care shocks such as a pandemic.”