Healthcare: On the Agenda - Drug cuts heart attacks in half

- In a nutshell

A major trial has found that the cholesterol-lowering drug Crestor can dramatically cut the number of heart attacks and strokes in healthy people. The drug, made by pharma firm AstraZeneca, was found to slash the rate of heart problems and deaths by 44 per cent.

- How did they find this out?

The trial, called Jupiter, was funded by AstraZeneca and involved 18,000 people - one in seven of them from the UK. Heart attacks were cut by 54 per cent, strokes by 48 per cent and the need for angioplasty or bypass by 46 per cent among the group on Crestor, compared with those taking a placebo.

- Why is this important?

Experts speaking to the Daily Mail predicted the study could open a new era in assessing people's risk of heart attacks and strokes.

- Coverage

The story was picked up by ITV, BBC Breakfast, and was also covered in the Financial Times and The Times. The Daily Mail splashed with the headline on 10 November: 'New statin cuts heart risk for everyone'.

- Who handled the comms?

The press coverage in the UK was handled by AstraZeneca's in-house press team and retained agency Red Door Communications. International comms was led by the firm's US in-house team alongside retained global agency Edelman, and each market's regional in-house teams.

10k - No. of lives saved every year in England by statins.

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