Dr. Mehta said: "The reduction in mortality with Reviparin is truly remarkable since no other drug in this class has shown similar benefits and the fact the drug was tested on top of already proven therapies."
About 15.5 million people die worldwide from cardiovascular deaths each year and about half of these are due to acute myocardial infarction, with the majority occurring in low and middle-income countries, Dr. Yusuf noted.
"Low cost therapies are obviously more invaluable than expensive ones," he said. "This therapy could be used not only in wealthy countries, but also in small medical centres in low and middle income countries. It has the potential to benefit more than a million individuals annually."
In a companion study, also presented today at the American Heart Association meeting, Drs. Mehta and Yusuf evaluated the role of high dose glucose-insulin-potassium (GIK) solution in 20,000 patients. The solution is thought to preserve heart muscle and prevent it from dying during the acute stages of a heart attack.
The study results show that GIK had a neutral effect, but the authors wonder whether a solution that had a lower glucose concentration may be of benefit.
"It is important to conduct large studies of promising agents to determine whether or not they are of value," said Dr. Mehta. "While demonstrating that something is of benefit is wonderful, reliably excluding agents are not helpful is equally important as it will avoid their unnecessary use and associated costs. This is particularly important for therapies such as