Timely and broad adoption of Novartis' Entresto by all eligible heart failure patients with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) could prevent or postpone more than 28,000 deaths each year in the US alone, finds a new analysis published in JAMA Cardiology.

The study suggests that delaying routine use of Entresto (sacubitril/valsartan) in clinical practice could have a substantial negative effect on patients, given the expected risk-benefit profile, as it could fail to prevent tens of thousands of deaths.

In a separate analysis also published in the journal, researchers used data from the PARADIGM-HF trial to project the health consequences and cost-effectiveness of Entresto over a 30-year time period.

They compared Entresto to the ACE-inhibitor enalapril and found Novatis' drug was linked with more than a year longer average survival time, and that it was more cost-effective.

Also, for every 1,000 patients treated with Entresto versus enalapril, potentially 59.7 heart failure hospital admissions could be avoided per each year alive in the model, and it was found to increase life expectancy.

Heart failure is a debilitating and life-threatening condition, affecting over 60 million people worldwide. Around half of patients have HFrEF, where the heart does not contract with enough force, so less blood is pumped out.

Entresto offers a novel dual mechanism of action thought to reduce the strain on the failing heart: valsartan suppresses the harmful effects of angiotensin II on the cardiovascular system, while sacubitril blocks the enzyme neprilysin to enhance the protective neurohormonal systems of the heart.

"Entresto has now independently received a class I recommendation in clinical guidelines and was shown in multiple analysis to be cost effective so physicians and health care systems should feel confident in ensuring rapid and broad use of this breakthrough medicine," noted Vas Narasimhan, global head of development and chief medical officer for the Swiss drugmaker.