From: Reuters
Published May 14, 2008 03:23 AM

Exforge cuts black patients' blood pressure: Novartis

ZURICH (Reuters) - Novartis AG's Exforge drug significantly reduced blood pressure in difficult-to-treat black patients, the Swiss drugmaker said on Wednesday, citing a clinical trial.

"New multinational data show that black patients treated with Exforge experienced a significantly higher reduction in systolic blood pressure than those on amlodipine alone," the group said in a statement.

Exforge, a combination of leading high blood pressure medicines Diovan and amlodipine, produced a significant decrease in blood pressure after only two weeks, Novartis said.

Black patients are at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure than other ethnic groups for reasons that are not fully understood, and they are also less likely than white patients to achieve blood pressure control while receiving treatment.

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Guidelines recommend that combination therapy should be used as first-line treatment in difficult-to-treat patient groups. Exforge is not currently approved as a first-line treatment for high blood pressure.

(Reporting by Katie Reid, editing by Will Waterman)

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