Profile of sacubitril/valsartan in the treatment of heart failure: patient selection and perspectives

Srikanth Yandrapalli, Gabriela Andries, Medha Biswas, Sahil Khera
Vascular Health and Risk Management 2017, 13: 369-382
With an estimated prevalence of 5.8 million in the USA and over 23 million people worldwide, heart failure (HF) is growing in epidemic proportions. Despite the use of guideline-directed medical therapies such as angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, beta-adrenergic blockers, angiotensin receptor blockers, and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists for chronic systolic HF for almost two decades, HF remains a leading cause of morbidity, mortality, and health care expenditures. The Prospective Comparison of Angiotensin Receptor-Neprilysin Inhibitor with Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitor to Determine Impact on Global Mortality and Morbidity in Heart Failure (PARADIGM-HF) trial provided compelling evidence for the cardiovascular and mortality benefit of sacubitril/valsartan when compared to enalapril in patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). Sacubitril/valsartan performed better than enalapril across various HFrEF patient characteristics and showed substantial benefit in patients with other common comorbidities. Following the trial, the US Food and Drug Administration approved this drug for the treatment of HF. Various international HF consensus guidelines endorse sacubitril/valsartan as a class I recommendation for the management of symptomatic HFrEF. Although this high-quality clinical study is the largest and the most globally represented trial in HFrEF patients, concerns have been raised regarding the generalizability of the trial results in real-world HF population. The gaps in US Food and Drug Administration labeling and guideline recommendations might lead to this medication being used in a larger population than it was studied in. In this review, we will discuss the current role of sacubitril/valsartan in the management of HF, concerns related to PARADIGM-HF and answers, shortcomings of this novel drug, effects on patient characteristics, real-world eligibility, and the role of ongoing and further investigations to clarify the profile of sacubitril/valsartan in the management of HF.


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