RPCU congratulates the Government of Quebec for funding new hypertension treatment

Access to TWYNSTA™ can help the 1.1 million Quebeckers living with hypertensioni get it under control

MONTREAL, Feb. 6, 2012 /CNW/ - As "Heart Month" kicks off, there is good news for Quebeckers living with hypertension (high blood pressure), as TWYNSTA™, a new medication to help treat and better control hypertension is now being funded by the Quebec public drug plan.  RPCU (Regroupement provincial des comités des usagers) congratulates the Government of Quebec for its decision and for making Quebec the second Canadian province to give access to this medication1.

TWYNSTA™ combines two blood pressure medications in a single pill for effective blood pressure control. Additionally, it meets the most recent recommendations laid out by the Canadian Hypertension Education Program (CHEP), which state that single pill combinations help achieve blood pressure control.ii  TWYNSTA™ also addresses the CHEP recommendation for improving adherence to prescriptions for high blood pressure by replacing multiple pills with single pill combinations as a part of a 'multi-pronged' treatment strategy.iii

"Since the incidence of hypertension increases with age, almost half of Quebeckers aged 65 and over have been diagnosed with hypertension,"iv says Pierre Blain, Executive Director of RPCU.  "Many of these individuals are already vulnerable because of age and the effects of the disease on their health.  Since many elderly people have a modest income, it is difficult for the majority to obtain medications that are not covered under the public drug plan.  RPCU commends the Quebec government for recognizing these challenges and funding a treatment that is important to a great number of Quebeckers who use our province's health services."

TWYNSTA™ was approved by Health Canada for the treatment of mild to moderate essential hypertension in August 2011.v  Studies show that TWYNSTA™ provides 24-hour blood pressure controlvi by combining two effective blood pressure medications: telmisartan and amlodipine, offering a very effective and tolerable option for patients that require combination therapy.vii

Dr.  Bruno Bernucci is general practitioner in Montreal who treats patients with hypertension on a daily basis.

"Uncontrolled hypertension is an important risk factor for death, stroke, cardiovascular disease and renal disease.viii Two-thirds of patients with hypertension take at least two medications to treat their conditionix —a situation that is costly and impractical for both patients and the Quebec health care system, and a challenge for physicians monitoring treatment, which becomes increasingly difficult with multiple medications.  The availability of TWYNSTA™ is therefore an important step, both in terms of substantial cost savings, effective control of hypertension, and prevention of the severe consequences of uncontrolled hypertension," says Dr. Bernucci.

About the RPCU
The RPCU (Regroupement provincial des Comités des usagers - Provincial user committee cluster) is the spokesperson for user and resident committees in all healthcare and social service institutions in Quebec, whether private, public, regulated or self-funded. It represents the 594 user and resident committees across Quebec so they can participate in major discussions on the same footing as the other associations in the field of health and social services. User and resident committees have the mandate of protecting the rights of users and contributing to improving the services offered. The RPCU is part of the INESSS Partners' Table, representing users.

About Hypertension in Quebec
Almost half of Quebeckers aged 65 and over have been diagnosed with high blood pressurex. Although more prevalent in this age group, it does affect younger people as well. In fact, in 2009, 17 per cent of Quebeckers aged 20 and older had been diagnosed with hypertensionxi, which is an important risk factor for death, stroke, cardiovascular disease and renal disease.xii In 2010, there were over 1.1 million cases of hypertension in Quebecxiii.

About TWYNSTATM
TWYNSTA™ is a combination of two blood pressure medications, telmisartan (an angiotensin II receptor antagonist or ARB) and amlodipine (a dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker, or long‐acting CCB) in a single pill for effective blood pressure control.

TWYNSTA™ is available in Canada in a flexible range of dosing regimens of telmisartan / amolodipine (80/5mg, 80/10mg, 40/5mg, 40/10mg).

_____________________________________
1 Twynsta is listed on PEI Pharmacare as of January 2012


i Statistics Canada http://www40.statcan.ca/l02/cst01/health70a-fra.htm

ii The 2012 CHEP Recommendations. What's new in the treatment of hypertension?
What's still really important? Slide 4. Slice deck available for download at http://www.hypertension.ca/chep-recommendations

iii The 2012 CHEP Recommendations. What's new in the treatment of hypertension?
What's still really important? Slide 15. Slice deck available for download at http://www.hypertension.ca/chep-recommendations

iv http://www40.statcan.ca/l02/cst01/health70a-fra.htm

v TWYNSTA™ Product Monograph. Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. July 2011

vi TWYNSTA™ Product Monograph. Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. July 2011

vii Littlejohn MD, Thomas, et al. Results of Treatment with Telmisartan‐Amlodipine in Hypertensive Patients. Journal of Clinical Hypertension (Greenwich) 2009, 11:4

viii TWYNSTA™ Product Monograph. Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. July 2011

ix Stat in the TWYNSTA NOC Release

x Ministère de Santé et Services Sociaux http://www.msss.gouv.qc.ca/statistiques/sante-bien-etre/index.php?Taux-de-prevalence-de-lhypertension-selon-lage-et-selon-le-sexe&PHPSESSID=fde7d2b862e78b8c4f682e31080269f2. Accessed  Jan 24, 2012

xi Ministère de Santé et Services Sociaux http://www.msss.gouv.qc.ca/statistiques/sante-bien-etre/index.php?Taux-de-prevalence-de-lhypertension-selon-lage-et-selon-le-sexe&PHPSESSID=fde7d2b862e78b8c4f682e31080269f2. Accessed  Jan 24, 2012

xii Tu MD MSc, Karen; Prevalence and incidence of hypertension from 1995 to 2005: a population‐based study CMAJ May 20, 2008:1429

xiii Statistics Canada http://www40.statcan.ca/l02/cst01/health70a-fra.htm


SOURCE PROVINCIAL REGROUPMENT OF PATIENT COMMITTEES (RPCU)

For further information:

Pierre Blain
Executive Director of RPCU
(514) 436-3744

or

Louis-Étienne Beaupré
Capital-Image
514 739-1188 extensions 236
lbeaupre@capital-image.com

Organization Profile

PROVINCIAL REGROUPMENT OF PATIENT COMMITTEES (RPCU)

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