New ARB shows greater and faster blood pressure reduction for patients with hypertension

    Olmetec(R) gives physicians new option to achieve earlier blood pressure

    MONTREAL, May 21 /CNW/ - Physicians who treat any of the five
million-plus Canadians with high blood pressure(1), often referred to as the
'silent killer', now have a better option to aggressively treat the condition
using a new angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB). Olmetec(R) (olmesartan
medoxomil) and Olmetec PLUS(R) (olmesartan medoxomil and hydrochlorothiazide),
are new and effective antihypertensive medications recently approved in
Canada, that have shown an impressive ability to achieve earlier blood
pressure reduction when compared to other ARBs currently available.
    In a multicenter, randomized, double-blind trial of Cozaar (50 mg),
Diovan (80 mg), Avapro (150 mg) and Olmetec(R) (20 mg), patients treated with
Olmetec(R) demonstrated a significantly greater reduction of 11.5 mmHg in mean
diastolic blood pressure (DBP), compared to 7.0 mmHg with Diovan, 8.2 mmHg
with Cozaar and 9.9 mmHg with Avapro.(2) This significant lowering of blood
pressure levels is important, as studies have shown that a reduction in mean
diastolic blood pressure (DBP) of even just 5 mmHg can lead to a 21 per cent
reduction in cases of coronary heart disease and a reduction of at least 34
per cent of strokes.(3) Evidence from the same multicenter, randomized,
double-blind trial also shows that patients treated with Olmetec(R) (20 mg)
demonstrate a greater reduction in cuff blood pressure in as early as two
weeks, when compared to those treated with Cozaar (50 mg), Diovan (80 mg) and
Avapro (150 mg).(2)
    "Evidence suggests the ability to achieve early reductions in blood
pressure may in fact have beneficial long-term effects on the rates of
cardiovascular events affecting hypertensive patients," said Dr. George Honos,
Head of Cardiology, Centre hospitalier de l'université de Montreal (CHUM).
"Compared to other ARBs, Olmetec has been shown to lower blood pressure levels
more quickly as well as more effectively at the recommended starting dosage.
These impressive results not only increase physician confidence in this
therapy but also will also likely translate into increased patient compliance,
one of our greatest challenges in treating hypertension."
    Affecting approximately one in five adult Canadians(4), hypertension has
been the leading reason for adult visits to physicians for the last decade.(5)
Although symptoms of the condition are generally absent, making diagnosis
difficult, hypertension is a serious condition and the leading cause of
strokes, congestive heart failure, and other cardiovascular diseases.(6) In
fact, hypertension increases overall cardiovascular risk by two to three
times.(7) If left untreated, sustained hypertension is a risk factor to damage
target organs and can lead to heart attack or angina, stroke and transient
ischemic attacks, peripheral vascular disease, kidney disease, as well as
damage to the retina. For these reasons, the Canadian Hypertension Education
Program (CHEP) recommends that all adult Canadians have their blood pressure
assessed on a regular, at least yearly, basis.

    About Olmetec(R) and Olmetec PLUS(R)

    Olmetec(R) and Olmetec PLUS(R) are new and effective oral
antihypertensive medications for the treatment of hypertension, or commonly
referred to as high blood pressure. Olmetec(R) (olmesartan medoxomil) was
approved by Health Canada in October, 2008 for the treatment of mild to
moderate essential hypertension. Olmetec PLUS(R) (olmesartan medoxomil and
hydrochlorothiazide) was approved by Health Canada in November, 2008 for the
treatment of mild to moderate essential hypertension in patients for whom
combination therapy is appropriate. Olmetec PLUS(R) is not indicated for
initial therapy.
    Olmetec(R) contains an active ingredient called olmesartan medoxomil,
which belongs to a group of medications known as angiotensin-II receptor
antagonists or ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers). Angiotensin-II is a
hormone produced by the body that causes blood vessels to narrow. Olmetec(R)
works by blocking the action of angiotensin-II, thereby relaxing blood vessels
and helping to lower blood pressure. Olmetec(R) is an effective
antihypertensive medication that is well tolerated and has a proven safety
profile. It has been evaluated in over 3,800 patients/subjects being treated
for hypertension.(8) Olmetec(R) can be used alone or in combination with other
antihypertensive agents, as recommended by a physician.

    About Schering-Plough

    Schering-Plough is an innovation-driven, science-centered global health
care company. Through its own biopharmaceutical research and collaborations
with partners, Schering-Plough creates therapies that help save and improve
lives around the world. The company applies its research-and-development
platform to human prescription, animal health and consumer health care
products. Schering-Plough's vision is to "Earn Trust, Every Day" with the
doctors, patients, customers and other stakeholders served by its colleagues
around the world. The company is based in Kenilworth, N.J., and its Web site
    Schering-Plough Canada Inc. is a country operation of Schering-Plough
that employs over 950 people across Canada. Its Web site is
    Olmetec(R) is a registered trademark of Schering-Plough Canada Inc.


    (1) 2009 Canadian Hypertension Education Program Recommendations for the
Management of Hypertension. The Short Clinical Summary. Available at:
    (2) Oparil S, Williams D, Chrysant SG, et al. Comparative efficacy of
Olmesartan, Losartan, Valsartan, and Irbesartan in the control of essential
hypertension. The Journal of Clinical Hypertension 2001;vol 3;5:283-291.
    (3) MacMahon S, Peto R, Cutler J, et al. Blood pressure, stroke, and
coronary heart disease; part 1, prolonged differences in blood pressure:
prospective observational studies corrected for the regression dilution bias.
Lancet 1990;335:765-774.
    (4) 2009 Canadian Hypertension Education Program Recommendations for the
Management of Hypertension. Summary of key messages. Available at:
    (5) Hemmelgarn BR, Chen G, Walker R et al. Trends in antihypertensive drug
prescriptions and physician visits in Canada between 1996 and 2006. Can J
Cardiol 2008;24:507-512.
    (6) Onysko J, Maxwell C, Eliasziw M., et al. Large increases in
hypertension diagnosis and treatment in Canada after a healthcare professional
education program. Hypertension. 2006;48:853.
    (7) Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada: The Changing Face of Heart
Disease and Stroke in Canada 2000. Available at:
    (8) Olmetec Product Monograph.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Mona Aubin, (514) 428-8833,; Laura Jablonski, (416) 643-8597,

Organization Profile


More on this organization

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890