The Scottish Medicines Consortium has approved a new drug, Inspra, for use in adults with the illness after evidence showed it reduced the risk of hospitalisation and death.
Around one in 100 people in Scotland has chronic heart failure, a form of cardiovascular disease associated with a high mortality rate. An average eight in ten patients die within five years of their first hospitalisation for the disease.
The new drug, also known as Eplerenone, was found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death or heart failure hospitalisation by 37 per cent.
John McMurray, Professor of Medical Cardiology at Glasgow University, said: “We must continue to do what we can to reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease and, importantly, do what we can to reduce the daily impact of the disease on those patients with established illness through optimal management.
“Heart failure is a progressive disease which can significantly reduce a patient’s quality of life, can lead to frequent admissions to hospital and leads to premature death.
“By ensuring patients receive the most effective treatments we can keep them out of hospital which is great for patients and can also help relieve the pressure on healthcare budgets.”
Heart failure occurs when the efficiency of the heart is impaired, resulting in it becoming unable to pump a sufficient amount of blood to meet the demands of the body.
Common causes of heart failure include damage to the heart caused by a heart attack, ischaemic heart disease and high blood pressure.