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New anti-cholesterol drug in the market

Management of coronary heart disease (CHD), a major cause of death in the Western world and commonly associated with atherosclerosis, recently got a new boost with the approval by Canadian authorities of Rosuvastatin for the management of primary hypercholesterolaemia, mixed dyslipidaemia, and familial hypercholesterolaemia, conditions better known as "high cholesterol."

Canadian medical experts agree that low density lipoprotein (LDL-C), commonly known as the "bad" cholesterol, is the most significant contributory risk factor for atherosclerosis.

The approval in Canada, the first regulatory registration granted this newest development from AstraZeneca, came on the strength of multiple clinical studies which showed Rosuvastatin to be more effective in lowering the bad cholesterol (LDL-C) than the currently prescribed statins.

Rosuvastatin has demonstrated reductions of 52 to 63 percent across the dose range compared to the same doses of existing stains. For instance, Rosuvastatin gets significantly more patients to their European LDL-C goal than atorvastatin 10 mg (82 percent vs 51 percent, respectively), simvastatin 20 mg (80 percent vs 48 percent), and pravastatin 20 mg (80 percent vs 16 percent).

In addition to the dramatic reductions seen in LDL-C, Rosuvastatin is also shown to produce a significant increase in HDL-C ("good" cholesterol), as well as reduce total cholesterol and triglycerides.

In the Philippines, this should be welcome news as studies have shown that hyperlipidaemia is prevalent among at least four percent of the adult population.

A national survey on lifestyle-related risk factors and diseases among Filipinos assessed the lipid profile (total cholesterol, HDL-C, LDL-C, trigylceride) of 4,541 adults aged 20 and above in all the provinces.

Behind the national survey was the FNRI-DOH-HDL Study Group, with the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, the Department of Health, Philippine Society of Hypertension, Philippine Diabetes Association and the Philippine Lipid Society as sponsors.

In addition to its approval in Canada, Rosuvastatin has also received approval in the Netherlands and subsequently entered the European Mutual Recognition Procedure, which will lead to further approval in 16 other countries in Europe beginning in the first half of 2003.

Rosuvastatin was also recently approved in Singapore and is awaiting approval in the United States, Japan and the Philippines.

AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals and the supply of healthcare services. It has more than 40 years’ experience in cardiovascular medicine.

The company is committed to continue its program aimed at increasing lifespan and improving quality of life by reducing the risk, prevalence and impact of cardiovascular disease with its portfolio of products like Plendil, Zestril, Tenormin, Betaloc and Imdur.

AstraZeneca is one of the top five pharmaceutical companies in the world. It has leading position in sales of gastrointestinal, oncology, anaesthesia, cardiovascular, central nervous system (CNS) and respiratory products.

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