Bayer, NUS Enterprise launch report on embracing innovation for reducing the cardiovascular disease burden in Asia Pacific

Thursday, Jul 04, 2019 11:30

Healthy Hearts, Healthy Aging dialogue: Dr. Kenneth Sim, Country Medical Director, Malaysia/Singapore/Brunei, Bayer Pharmaceuticals Division spoke about the role of innovative therapies in the prevention of major cardiovascular events such as strokes and heart attacks.

Bayer and NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore, recently released a report titled Healthy Hearts, Healthy Aging Asia Pacific at the 2019 Innovfest Unbound.

The report examines the cardiovascular health imperatives related to ageing in the Asia Pacific, and highlights the important shift in the region’s health systems from a traditional acute care model to one with an increased focus on preventive, value-based care.

In embracing this transformation, the report calls for specific policy actions in the three broad areas of education, innovation and collaboration, and particularly for the collaboration of all stakeholders involved to accelerate the development and adoption of innovative medicines and technologies in the prevention, treatment and care of cardiovascular diseases.

Kenneth Sim, country medical director, Bayer Pharmaceuticals Division Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei, said: “Innovations in medicine and technology have resulted in remarkable improvements in the management of cardiovascular diseases over the last few decades.

“In the face of a growing ageing population, we require a new era of innovation focused on preventing disease progression and providing better care to help patients and societies cope with the disease burden.

“Whilst Bayer is committed to developing innovative solutions for CVD patients and their caregivers to improve their quality of life, we hope that the insights gathered through the fruits of our partnership with NUS Enterprise will inspire a wide range of public and private stakeholders to support health system sustainability by embracing health innovations to prevent the serious effects of cardiovascular diseases.”

Across the Asia Pacific, socio-economic, geographic, demographic, and ethnographic differences create unique challenges for each country when dealing with the growing impact of cardiovascular diseases and ageing.

Experts in cardiovascular diseases and health policy from eight countries and territories -- Australia, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Viet Nam, and the Philippines -- were consulted for the report to establish the current and predicted future burden of cardiovascular diseases on the region’s health systems and to examine the role of health innovation in addressing the unmet needs in cardiovascular diseases prevention and care.

They also gathered recommendations on how different stakeholders including healthcare experts, policy makers, innovators, academia, non-governmental organizations, and corporations can collaborate to enhance the adoption of health innovation in the long-term preventive care of cardiovascular diseases patients.

Accordingly, four key areas of need were identified for policy makers to focus on in order to address the challenges of ageing populations and rising cardiovascular diseases rates in the region.

They include the need for health systems to shift from a traditional acute care model to one with increased focus on preventive, value-based care.

This includes earlier detection and better management of patients at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and its related complications at the community level.

The second is the need to improve education for the public, primary care physicians, patients, and policy makers to achieve optimal control of cardiovascular disease risks.

There is a need for speedier adoption of and greater access to innovative therapies and technologies to improve patient outcomes, particularly for the prevention of serious cardiovascular incidents such as strokes and heart attacks.

Last is the need for data in understanding the current disease burden and planning for the future.

One area in particular where a shortage was noted was in local, regional and ethnic specific data from drug trials, which would make it easier to demonstrate the relevance of novel therapies to particular populations. As health systems focus on value-based care, there is a need for more socio-economic data to support the cost effectiveness of new innovations.

Assoc Prof Angelique Chan, executive director of the Centre for Ageing Research and Education at Duke-NUS Medical School and a key contributor to the report, said: "To address the mounting challenges due to population ageing, it is imperative for health systems to shift from a traditional acute care model to one which focuses on maintaining health and keeping people out of hospital.

“Care for elderly cardiovascular disease patients must be integrated into communities and the home to support better adherence to preventive lifestyle measures and medical therapies which are geared towards prevention of disability-causing major cardiovascular events such as strokes and heart attacks.

“Health systems must also embrace innovations across the eco-system of medicines, technology, and elder care to support this transformation.” — VNS

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