Healthcare professionals not up to date on the latest scientific evidence to treat cardiovascular patients: Survey


A recent survey of nearly 500 healthcare professionals (HCPs) revealed that a majority (60%) of HCPs believe that less than half of their patients with persistent cardiovascular disease who are treated with statins realize they are still at risk for a cardiovascular event. 

The survey among physicians was conducted by APCO Insight between December 27, 2019 – January 2, 2020, including n=255 primary care physicians and n=243 cardiologists who treat patients with persistent cardiovascular disease. The sampling margin of error for this survey is ±4.4%. 

While most (93%) of the HCPs surveyed typically recommend prescription medications as part of their management approach for patients with persistent cardiovascular risk, only half believe available treatment options (both prescription and non-prescription) adequately protect patients from future cardiovascular events. The survey also showed that many HCPs are not up to date on the latest scientific evidence in terms of treating beyond cholesterol management, with many recommending or prescribing outdated, unproven, non-FDA approved and potentially risky treatment approaches for their patients, such as fenofibrates and fish oil dietary supplements. Notably, 55% of the HCPs surveyed admitted to prescribing fenofibrates; and 47% recommended fish oil dietary supplements, on top of statin therapy for their patients with persistent cardiovascular risk.

Dietary fish oil supplements are not intended to treat disease and have not been clinically proven to be safe or effective in the treatment or prevention of cardiovascular risk. In fact, all studies evaluating the use of fish oil supplements as an add-on to statin therapy have failed to show any significant clinical benefits beyond the use of statins alone.1 While there may be appropriate uses for dietary supplements, they should not be used for treating disease.2 Separately, the FDA withdrew approval to use fenofibrates in combination with statins in 2016 because, in its analysis, the benefits did not outweigh the risks.3 Fenofibrates are not proven to reduce cardiovascular risk when paired with a statin. 

Craig Granowitz

“The survey points to both a need and opportunity for more healthcare provider and patient education,” said Craig Granowitz, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer, Amarin. “Patients with cardiovascular disease who take statins are only lowering their risk of a life-threatening cardiovascular event by 25-35%, so while they have taken an important first step, they aren’t fully protected against persistent cardiovascular risk. Unfortunately, some patients then turn to, or are being prescribed, unproven therapeutic options. Through True To Your Heart, we aim to increase consumer awareness that they may be missing out on important cardiovascular risk protection, and hope to encourage everyone, from patients to doctors, to educate themselves so people can make the best health decisions to protect their hearts.”

Amarin Corporation plc (NASDAQ:AMRN) has launched of True To Your Heart, an educational campaign to help people learn more about cardiovascular disease and how to better protect against persistent cardiovascular risk. On, people can learn about the impact of and risk factors for cardiovascular disease, as well as ways to reduce cardiovascular risk, including lifestyle choices and medical therapies.


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