Tag Archives: American College of Cardiology

The Importance of Translating Clinical Guidelines into Practice

By Nancy Brown, Chief Executive Officer at American Heart Association

IMG_4810 (3)The American Heart Association (AHA) is hosting its annual Scientific Sessions on November 7-11, 2015, and one area of focus this year is the appropriate implementation of clinical guidelines by healthcare providers in support of patients’ cardiovascular (CV) health.

Guidelines within the CV community are important as they provide clinicians with summaries of clinical research and therapeutic recommendations. For patients living with CV disease (CVD), diagnosis can be complicated and guidelines help clinicians translate data into practice, ensuring that appropriate care is given across the broad spectrum of CVD.

The clinical community also looks for guidelines to be a tool to help build consistency in practice. However, implementing guidelines can sometimes be easier said than done, and so, organizations often study guidelines in a real-world setting to understand where challenges lie.

For example, one AstraZeneca-sponsored study, which was presented at this year’s conference, takes a deeper dive into the American College of Cardiology (ACC)/AHA Cholesterol management guideline, published in 2013. This guideline reinforced the importance of lowering cholesterol by utilizing valuable resources to help save millions of people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world.

The study showed that the ACC/AHA guideline appeared to have a modest effect among new users immediately following its publication. However, the researchers concluded that follow-up in future years to fully assess the impact of the ACC/AHA guideline is warranted.

Studies like this reinforce the need for continued resources that increase the lifespan of guidelines beyond the initial issue date. We know that when medical professionals apply up-to-date, evidence-based treatment guidelines to their practice, patient outcomes improve. Speedy implementation of guidelines is important to allow patients to receive the most updated, efficacious treatments and care.

AHA is committed to addressing this problem through various programs, including the Guideline Transformation and Optimization Initiative (GTO) for non ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE-ACS) guidelines. NSTE-ACS is a type of heart attack, also referred to as myocardial infarction, which occurs when an artery is partially blocked and severely reduces blood flow.

GTO, supported by a grant from AstraZeneca, is officially launching at this year’s conference. The initiative seeks to accelerate the application of updated science and provides an integrated, collaborative approach to transform clinical guidelines into practice. We believe that by doing so, this will drive better health outcomes, increase patient satisfaction and contribute to AHA’s goal to reduce mortality from CV diseases and stroke by 20 percent by 2020. Our comprehensive, coordinated approach will:

  • Innovate processes that will accelerate guidelines into practice
  • Activate medical professionals to leverage science faster and measure clinical effectiveness and quality, and
  • Empower patients and caregivers to better manage health and participate in care coordination

By spearheading initiatives like GTO, AstraZeneca and the AHA demonstrate our commitment to putting patients first by ensuring the most advanced treatments and care reach the patients who need them.

AZ Takes Center Stage at ACC.15

By Dr. Steve Zelenkofske, VP, US Medical Affairs, Cardiovascular, AstraZeneca

Steve Zelenkofske

This past weekend, AstraZeneca attended the American College of Cardiology 64th Annual Scientific Session (ACC.15) in San Diego, where we engaged with leading cardiovascular (CV) healthcare professionals (HCP) and demonstrated our continued commitment to advancing the science around CV and metabolic diseases (CVMD).

This annual congress is critical for patients; cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the number one killer worldwide, representing approximately 30 percent of all global deaths. At AstraZeneca, we have been fighting CVD for more than 100 years and remain dedicated to understanding and improving treatment options for the millions of patients impacted worldwide.

ACC.15 marks the first major medical congress of the year for both AstraZeneca and the CV industry, bringing together more than 13,000 attendees from around the globe. Therefore, it was fundamental for us to translate our vision of being a leader in CVMD into every element of our presence at this Congress – and we succeeded.

Leading with science: It was a pivotal meeting for AstraZeneca as 14 abstracts and poster presentations around our medicines helped drive the CV scientific dialogue forward, and of course the awaited late-breaking clinical trial presentation by Dr. Marc Sabatine on the full data results of the PEGASUS-TIMI 54 study. As a company that is committed to exploring the science behind our medicines to better understand their appropriate use in different patient populations, it is vital that we continue to invest in these large, CV outcomes trials to advance this scientific dialogue. Worldwide, more than 17 million patients die from CV diseases (CVD) each year. Therefore, it’s important that we follow the science in the interest of the patients we ultimately serve.

Bringing our science and the CVMD patient experience to life: We had an industry leading presence in the exhibit hall, as it was the largest booth to be featured by AstraZeneca at ACC to date, spanning 8,000 square feet. Our booth brought together our CVMD portfolio and gave healthcare professionals (HCP) an opportunity to interact with the latest information about our medicines and ongoing recruiting clinical research trials. Key sections of the booth put the CVMD patient and their disease front and center by utilizing innovative technology to bring their stories to life through novel simulation tools, which ultimately helped the HCP better understand the disease from their patient’s point of view.

Our booth also featured programs and initiatives that demonstrate our commitment to helping support CVMD patients along their treatment journey. One clear example of this is our founding sponsorship of the ACC Patient Navigator Program, a vital national initiative that supports acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and heart failure (HF) patients as they go through the sometimes difficult process of transitioning from hospital to home after their event.


AstraZeneca remains committed to follow the science and put patients first – while ensuring we continue to represent our medicines and the patients they may help at key meetings like ACC.15.

3/15 Last Update 3105702

ACC Completes Hospital Selection in Their Innovative Patient Navigator Program

TPNP Logo Graphic_High Reshe American College of Cardiology (ACC) has announced that 20 hospitals from across the country have been selected to participate in the ACC Patient Navigator Program, rounding out the 35 total hospitals in the program.

This innovative initiative, which has already launched in 15 hospitals, is designed to provide participating hospitals with training and resources to establish navigator teams charged with coordinating personalized support for patients diagnosed with acute coronary syndrome (ACS), including heart attack, and heart failure (HF) during their hospital stay and in the weeks following their discharge when they are most vulnerable.

AstraZeneca is proud to be the Founding Sponsor to support this ACC initiative. We are the first company to provide large-scale funding for this type of national, cardio-focused patient navigator program.

“It is an exciting milestone to see all 35 hospitals enrolled in the ACC Patient Navigator Program because now more patients and caregivers will have access to the support and services provided by the Patient Navigator teams in hospitals across the country,” said Gregory F. Keenan, M.D., Vice President and U.S. Head Medical Officer, AstraZeneca. “At AstraZeneca, we know that cardiovascular disease impacts each patient differently, and the needs of patients and caregivers are distinct and personal following a heart attack. That’s why we’re proud to be the founding sponsor of this program, and our hope is that supporting initiatives like this can help make a meaningful difference for patients and their families.”

According to the ACC, they have carefully chosen a diverse group of hospitals from across the country to participate in their program, representing a broad patient population and hospital treatment approaches to cardiac care.

The 20 newly selected hospitals include:

  • Aurora BayCare Medical Center, Green Bay, WI
  • Baptist Health Louisville, Louisville, KY
  • Barnes-Jewish Hospital at Washington University Medical Center, St. Louis, MO
  • California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, CA
  • Centra Lynchburg General Hospital, Lynchburg, VA
  • Fairview Hospital, Cleveland, OH
  • Indian River Medical Center, Vero Beach, FL
  • Mercy Hospital, Portland, ME
  • Mercy Medical Center, Des Moines, IA
  • Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Newark, NJ
  • Olathe Medical Center, Olathe, KS
  • Renown Regional Medical Center, Reno, NV
  • Vincent’s Medical Center, Bridgeport, CT
  • Tacoma General Hospital, Tacoma, WA
  • University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora, CO
  • University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX
  • West Jefferson Medical Center, Marrero, LA
  • Western Maryland Health System, Cumberland, MD
  • Wyoming Medical Center, Casper, WY

The 15 previously selected hospitals include:

  • Advocate Sherman Hospital, Elgin, IL
  • Christiana Care Health Services, Wilmington, DE
  • Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
  • Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital, Indianapolis, IN
  • MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC
  • Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, Portland, OR
  • Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • Mary’s Hospital, Waterbury, CT
  • Trident Health, Charleston, SC
  • Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute, Nashville, TN
  • WakeMed Health and Hospital, Raleigh, NC
  • Scott & White Healthcare, Temple, TX
  • VCU Pauley Heart Center VCU Medical Center, Richmond, VA
  • Montefiore Medical Center, New York, NY
  • Huntsville Hospital, Huntsville, AL

As cardiovascular leaders, this program aligns with AstraZeneca’s commitment to patients and finding novel approaches to improving cardiovascular care.

MedStar Washington Hospital Center Becomes First to Launch ACC Patient Navigator Program

MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. became the first hospital to provide cardiology patients with support through the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Patient Navigator Program, sponsored by AstraZeneca. MedStar Washington Hospital Center is one of 35 hospitals across the country that will participate between now and the end of 2015. Thus far, 11 hospitals have been selected to take part in the ACC program, which provides enhanced support for cardiology patients as they transition from hospital to home following their heart attack.

The ACC Patient Navigator Program will provide personalized support to patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) based on their specific needs, which is vital because cardiovascular disease impacts every patient differently. The program will support patients with ACS as they face physical, emotional and other issues after having a heart attack. According to the ACC, one of the goals is to make ACS patients’ hospitalization less stressful and the recovery period more supportive.

AstraZeneca’s sponsorship of the ACC Patient Navigator Program aligns with our commitment to putting patients at the core of everything we do and to helping health care professionals support their patients with cardiovascular diseases.   Read more about AstraZeneca’s sponsorship of the ACC Patient Navigator Program.


In a recent study of Medicare patients discharged after a heart attack, 25.9 percent of heart attack patients died and 50.5 percent were re-hospitalized within the first year.

– Dharmarajan K; Hsieh AF; Lin Z et al. Abstract 13: Risks of Death and Hospital Readmission by Time Following Hospitalization for Heart Failure and Acute Myocardial Infarction. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2013; 6: A13.

2939301 12/13

American College of Cardiology Announces First Hospitals to Participate in the Patient Navigator Program

PNP Logo Graphic for Blog and Intranet Article 120312Patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) face many difficulties as they transition from the hospital back to their home following a cardiovascular event. It is critical they understand at discharge the next steps in their road to recovery.

A recent JAMA Internal Medicine study looked at transitional care after hospitalization and found that a fourth of discharge instructions were written in medical jargon that a patient was not likely to understand.

AstraZeneca became the founding sponsor of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Patient Navigator Program, contributing $10 million to this program earlier this year. The program was designed to help cardiology patients through the challenges of transitioning from hospital to home following their heart attack.

Today, the ACC announced the first hospitals selected to be a part of its program:

The ACC Patient Navigator Program will provide personalized support to patients with ACS at these hospitals based on their specific needs, which is vital because cardiovascular disease impacts every patient differently.

The ACC Patient Navigator Program aligns with AstraZeneca’s desire to put patients at the core of everything we do and our commitment to finding new ways to support patients’ health.


2913305 Last Updated 12/13

AstraZeneca Applauds the Release of New Guideline for Cholesterol Management

Dr. Philip de Vane, Executive Director, U.S. Medical Affairs, AstraZeneca

This week marks an important milestone in guidelines for the treatment of patients at increased risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) as the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA) release a new clinical practice guideline for the management of blood cholesterol. 

The new 2013 ACC/AHA guideline has been highly anticipated across the healthcare industry, since the last update was issued nearly a decade ago. The guideline highlights statins as the preferred therapy for increased-risk patients to lower their high cholesterol, alongside a healthy lifestyle. What’s more, we have a treatment guideline that identifies patients most likely to benefit from statin therapy and for the first time distinguishes recommended intensity of statin therapy for specified patient groups.

This guideline reinforces the role of statins, such as CRESTOR® (rosuvastatin calcium), as an appropriate treatment option in increased-risk patients. When diet and exercise alone aren’t enough, CRESTOR is prescribed in adults, along with diet, to lower high cholesterol and to slow the buildup of plaque in arteries (atherosclerosis) as part of a treatment plan to lower cholesterol to goal.

At AstraZeneca, science and clinical research are at the root of everything we do across many therapeutic areas, including CVD. As leaders in this area, we are pleased that our research helped to inform the development of this important guideline, which we hope will help physicians identify the appropriate treatment for their increased-risk patients to reduce the risk of CVD, the leading cause of death in the United States.

For a copy of the “2013 ACC/AHA Guideline on the Treatment of Blood Cholesterol to Reduce Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Risk in Adults,” please visit: http://content.onlinejacc.org/article.aspx?doi=10.1016/j.jacc.2013.11.002 

Approved Uses for CRESTOR® (rosuvastatin calcium) Tablets

When diet and exercise alone aren’t enough to lower cholesterol, adding CRESTOR can help. In adults, CRESTOR is prescribed along with diet to lower high cholesterol and slow the buildup of plaque in arteries as part of a treatment plan to lower cholesterol to goal.

CRESTOR is also prescribed to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in people without known heart disease but at increased risk based on age (men 50 years and older, women 60 years and older), elevated blood levels of hsCRP (a sign of inflammation that can be associated with increased risk of cardiovascular events), plus at least one additional risk factor (such as high blood pressure, low HDL “good” cholesterol, smoking, or family history of early heart disease).

Important Safety Information about CRESTOR

CRESTOR is not right for everyone. Do not take CRESTOR if you are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant; have liver problems; or have had an allergic reaction to CRESTOR. Your doctor should do blood tests to check your liver before starting treatment and if you have symptoms of liver problems while taking CRESTOR. Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain or weakness, especially with fever; have muscle problems that do not go away even after your doctor told you to stop taking CRESTOR; feel unusually tired; or have loss of appetite, upper belly pain, dark urine, or yellowing of skin or eyes. These could be signs of rare but serious side effects. Elevated blood sugar levels have been reported with statins, including CRESTOR. The most common side effects may include headache, muscle aches, abdominal pain, weakness, and nausea. Memory loss and confusion have also been reported with statins, including CRESTOR. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about other medicines you are taking. See www.CRESTOR.com.

Please see full Prescribing Information.

2928000 Last Updated 11/13