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Menarini PH Calls for Strengthened Hypertension Awareness

With the goal of raising awareness on the seriousness of the disease, leading provider of important healthcare brands Menarini Asia Pacific organized a media forum titled Heart All Right?: The BENEFIT of being Heart Aware to encourage individuals to take a proactive role in managing hypertension.

Hypertension in Asian Region

According to Philippine Hypertension Society, hypertension or high blood pressure represents a major burden in Asia and in many parts of the world. This disease comes with a high prevalence rate and, unfortunately, in the Philippines, less than half of the people with hypertension know that they have it,  The disease is also the leading preventable cause of premature deaths worldwide, afflicting an estimated 1.13 billion people in 2015, and contributing to 7.5 million deaths each year. it is also the leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease, with 51 percent of the stroke cases and 45% of ischemic heart disease (IHD) cases attributed to high blood pressure.

Dr. Leilani Mercado-Asis of Philippine Society of Hypertension, Dr. Dante Morales of UP College of Medicine and Ms. Virgie Monton (seated), who will relate her hypertensive journey.

In the Philippines, a study shows that deaths and burden of disease attributable to hypertension significantly grew over the last 3 decades hypertension death rate increased from 11 percent in 1990 to 21 percent in 2017, while hypertension-related disabilities rose from 4 percent to 11 percent, based on Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Hypertension prevalence among Filipino adults is projected to remain stagnant using long-term historical trend (1993 to 2015). With the consistent prevalence rate, projected number of Filipino adults with hypertension is expected to grow almost double in the year 2050, according to World Health Organization.

Improved efficacy of beta-blockers to benefit persons with hypertension

Hypertension is dangerous in that, oftentimes, it does not show any symptoms hence its title, the “Silent Killer.” This condition, if left unmanaged, could also significantly increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, aneurysm, and renal failure. When arteries become stiff or clogged, the heart needs to work harder. An overworked heart can become larger than normal, causing the walls of the heart muscle to weaken and underperform. This’ inability to properly pump blood could eventually result in a heart attack or heart failure.

Thus, a lifestyle change can prove to be a strong shield against high blood pressure and its damaging effects. To further help this along, hypertension can also be managed with the use of anti-hypertensive medications such as beta-blockers like Nebivolol as prescribed by doctors.

Beta-blockers work to slow down the heart rate and temporarily reduce the body’s natural fight or flight response. They help reduce stress on the heart and on the blood vessels in the brain, consequently lowering blood pressure. This can then help protect afflicted individuals against a heart attack, and can improve the condition of those suffering with heart failure.

 Beta-blockers also block the hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline in the brain, which activate the tight-or-flight response during stress. Too much adrenaline would lead to an abnormal increase in heart rate and blood pressure even when at rest, so these medications help tone down this stress-response. resulting in a lower heart rate and lower blood pressure.

To prove safety and efficacy of hypertension management medications like beta-blocker Nebivolol. Menarini conducted the BENEFIT Korea Study, involving nearly all patient profiles.

 Menarini conducted a real world data analysis of more than 3,200 patients in a real world setting to determine if Nebivolol is safe and effective in reducing blood pressure in hypertensive patients with various comorbidities and treatment environments in Korea. This served as a concrete example of real-world data in action, providing essential information for people with hypertension after they consented to having their medical records assessed.

The study revealed that, even with various co-morbidities and treatment environments, daily intake of 5mg of Nebivolol significantly lowered patients’ blood pressure in just 12 weeks and 24 weeks. The study also confirmed that patients with concurrent medical conditions like dyslipidemia, obesity, and diabetes tolerated the drug well even after daily intake. Lastly, it also demonstrated its efficacy by reducing blood pressure, whether as initial therapy, as an add-on, or as a switch from other anti-hypertensive medications.

Patients who suffer from hypertension and other illnesses often encounter difficulties since they are taking a combination of prescription medications. However, data from actual dosage of patients using Nebivolol validated the efficacy and safety of this drug among patients of varying medical profiles. Such real-world data allows pharmaceutical companies like Menarini to monitor the performance and safety of its drug in the market, providing excellent results based on actual records.

The BENEFIT Korea Study is one of the largest observational studies of beta-blockers for hypertension in Asia, which is particularly important in light of increasing prevalence of hypertension and the rapid population aging in the region.

As a way forward, the pharmaceutical industry. envisions that real-world data may help improve drug research. and may help supplement the data obtained from clinical trials in order to provide holistic healthcare services to its patients.

Part of the world’s largest Italian biopharmaceutical company Menarini Group, Menarini Asia-Pacific is committed to provide safe, reliable and affordable healthcare services to Filipinos. Supported by the Group’s R&D, Manufacturing and infrastructure capabilities, Menarini Asia-Pacific operates across the entire commercial value chain, from clinical development, regulatory approval and product launch to life cycle management with a diverse portfolio of proprietary and partnered brands in key therapeutic fields including Consumer Health, Dermatology, Primary Care, Allergy/Respiratory, Cardiovascular, Specialty Care and Men’s Health.

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