FDA approves Novartis drug for high blood pressure treatment

EAST HANOVER, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved Novartis Pharmaceuticals’ Amturnide (aliskiren, amlodipine and hydrochlorothiazide) tablets for the treatment of high blood pressure, according to the pharma company. 

Amturnide combines the only approved direct rennin inhibitor worldwide, Tekturna (aliskiren), with the widely used calcium channel blocker amlodipine and the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ).

The FDA approval was based on data from a double-blind, active-controlled study, which showed that Amturnide provided significantly greater reductions in blood pressure compared with all dual combinations of its components.

Amturnide is approved for patients whose blood pressure is not adequately controlled with any two of its individual components and is not indicated as initial therapy for high blood pressure. Amturnide is only the third high blood pressure treatment to combine three drugs in a single pill.

"Some patients require three or more medications to help manage their high blood pressure, which can be challenging and inconvenient," noted Alan Gradman, professor of medicine at Temple University School of Medicine. "The approval of Amturnide provides physicians with an effective treatment option that combines the benefits of the only approved direct renin inhibitor, a calcium channel blocker and a diuretic in one pill, while offering blood pressure reductions greater than two drugs alone."

High blood pressure affects nearly 75 million adults in the United States and about 1 billion adults worldwide. An estimated 31% of adults being treated with antihypertensive medications are not at their blood pressure goal. Large-scale clinical trials suggest that up to 85% of patients may need multiple medicines to achieve target levels of blood pressure control, and hypertensive patients with lower blood pressure goals or with substantially elevated blood pressure may require three or more medications.

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