To further demonstrate its commitment to affordable health care delivery, Sanofi Nigeria has introduced a new antihypertensive, Aprovasc, which it says offers dosage flexibility that allows individualised treatment.
The colourful product launch held at Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, recently and chaired by Prof. Adewale Oke, chief medical director, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), was attended by leading physicians was also used to educate participants on the dangers of hypertension, described as a silent killer.
Speaking at the event, General Manager, Sanofi Nigeria-Ghana, Abderrahmane Chakibi, said that by introducing the new antihypertensive, Sanofi was demonstrating its commitment to patients by improving access to high quality solutions in the field of hypertension management in Nigeria.
Aprovasc introduction, the Sanofi GM stated further, also confirmed Sanofi’s determination to providing advanced and innovative treatments in response to patients’ specific needs, adding that the unique combination of irbesartan and amlodipine in the new antihypertensive was a result of years of development, clinical studies and safety proof-reading.
He said that at the core of what Sanofi stands for and had been doing for nearly a century is the delivery of innovative treatments and a full portfolio of drugs adapted to the needs of patients locally.
Mr Chakibi, however, reiterated that Sanofi’s commitment was not just to the provision of medications alone, adding that the company had been supporting healthcare professionals in their daily practice through training and other services.
With the introduction of Aprovasc, Sanofi now offers a wide range of treatment options for patients with hypertension. The company’s partnership with health authorities also led to the inauguration of a diabetes and hypertension clinic at LASUTH on 29 January 2015.
Also speaking at the event, Dr Inousa Fiffen, head of medical and regulatory, Sanofi Nigeria, said that the world was faced with a very deadly silent killer in hypertension, adding that hypertension was becoming a very heavy burden in Nigeria as it wasin many countries of the world. The launch of the new product, he said, was aimed at reducing the burden, stressing that Sanofi was committed to making sure hypertension is better managed in Nigeria.
Sanofi, he said, was committed to leading the fight against hypertension in Nigeria, addingthat, this desire informed the company’s partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health to tame hypertension and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
In his opening remarks, Prof. Adewale Oke said that the prevalence of hypertension was alarming and that the disease was looking unstoppable, despite concerted efforts to combat it. The challenge, he said, was to find a way to prevent and control the ailment.
In her presentation on the topic,”The Management of Hypertension: Beyond Lowering of Blood Pressure”, Dr Amam Mbakwem, associate professor of medicine, University of Lagos, said that hypertension was the most powerful risk factor for cardiovascular disease, adding that recent studies showed prevalence was increasing.
Hypertension, she explained further, is mainly asymptomatic and blood pressure levels cannot fully explain it, adding that reducing blood pressure levels however could help prevent cardiovascular outcomes in patients with hypertension.
She also urged physicians to work towards effective communication with patients, as according to her, effective communication is crucial in ensuring patients become stakeholders in their treatment.
On why physicians are not achieving optimal blood pressure targets/control, Dr Mbakwem said clinical inertia, inadequate drug combination, resistant hypertension, guideline confusion, drug cost, drug side-effects, poor compliance and poor communication skills could be responsible for this.
She advised people with high blood pressureto start treatment immediately as early treatment could prevent further complications, adding that she was in support of combination therapy if the combination entailed two classes of complementary drugs.
Dr Ademola Aderibigbe, in another lecture at the occasion, said there was a lot of difference between treating and managing hypertension, noting that while treating hypertension could be limited to simply lowering the blood pressure, managing the condition entails managing all the co-morbidities of the condition.
Physicians, he said, should not restrict themselves to treating elevated blood pressure but should rather ensure there are no other complications.
He also suggested combination therapy as being more effective, particularly in high risk hypertension.
The highlight of the event was the unveiling of the new products by dignitaries in attendance.