Treating Iron Deficiency Anaemia Improves Quality of Life in Patients With Chronic Heart Failure

By Vifor Pharma, PRNE
Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Research Highlights Accurate Diagnosis & Treatment has Significant Impact on Quality of Life

BAGSHOT, England, May 5, 2011 - Over a third (34%)[1,2] of patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) are
suffering from associated iron-deficient anaemia (IDA) which is not only
exacerbating their condition but is also contributing to a poorer quality of
life. In anticipation of European Heart Failure Awareness Day (6 May 2011),
Vifor Pharma is taking the opportunity to raise awareness of IDA as a
less-recognised and under-managed - yet treatable - side effect of heart

Anaemia is characterised by a low blood count and means that the heart
needs to work more efficiently to carry adequate oxygen around the body.
Symptoms of anaemia including shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness and
impairment of cognitive function, are similar to those of CHF and as heart
failure progresses in patients, so does anaemia. In fact, anaemia
complicating heart failure has been shown to be associated with a worse
outcome for patients[3] - and in community hospital admissions for heart
failure, markers of anaemia were independently associated with an increased
risk of death[3].

However, recent research demonstrates that repletion of iron in CHF
patients improves cognitive, symptomatic, and exercise performance. The
trial, FAIR HF[4] (Ferinject Assessment in patients with IRon deficiency and
chronic Heart Failure), which is the largest trial to date ever conducted to
study the effects of anaemia in CHF, revealed that:

- 50% of CHF patients treated with Ferinject showed a significant
improvement in their quality of life[4]

- Patients receiving Ferinject(R) could walk 39 meters further than at
baseline in a 6 minute walk test, compared to approximately 9 meters in the
placebo group. The total difference between the patient group treated with
Ferinject(R) and the placebo group was 35 meters at week 24[4]

So, in conclusion the study shows that Ferinject is an I.V iron treatment
that clearly reduces the day-to-day burden of symptoms such as fatigue,
weakness and impaired physical function compared to placebo. However, despite
the fact the medical profession accept that anaemia aggravates symptoms in
patients with CHF[5], the condition is still frequently under-diagnosed and
left untreated.

"There is no doubt that iron-deficient anaemia impacts the quality of
life of CHF patients, preventing them from undertaking normal everyday
activities such as walking which most people take for granted. Many CHF
patients with associated IDA are not being diagnosed and treated efficiently
and we are not currently optimising patients' outcome or their quality of
life." comments Senthil Vel, Medical Director , Vifor Pharma UK Ltd.

European Heart Failure Awareness Day is a pan-European initiative
designed to raise awareness of heart failure, including possible symptoms,
the importance of an early and accurate diagnosis as well as receiving
optimal treatment.

For full Ferinject(R) Specific Product Characteristics, please visit

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Notes to editors

About Ferinject(R)

Ferinject(R) is an innovative intravenous iron replacement product
discovered and developed by Vifor Pharma. Ferric carboxymaltose, the active
pharmaceutical ingredient of Ferinject(R), overcomes the unmet clinical needs
of intravenous (I.V.) iron therapy as Ferinject(R) is not associated with
dextran-induced hypersensitivity reactions since it is free of dextran and
dextran derivatives, and it has a low potential for iron toxicity.
Ferinject(R), in doses up to 1000 mg iron, can be administered in a 15 minute
infusion in patients with iron deficiency associated with a variety of
clinical conditions.

To date, Ferinject(R) has gained marketing authorisation in 30 countries
within Europe as well as in South Korea, Argentina and Russia for the
treatment of iron deficiency where oral iron is ineffective or cannot be
used. In many countries, intravenous iron replacement products are primarily
used to treat dialysis patients. However, iron deficiency is also a
complication of many other illnesses representing an unmet medical need.
Vifor Pharma is evaluating new opportunities in the treatment of iron
deficiency with Ferinject(R) in different therapeutic areas. Trials with
Ferinject(R) in chronic kidney disease (CKD), oncology (anaemia in cancer
patients), gastroenterology (inflammatory bowel diseases) and gynaecology are
ongoing or planned.

Vifor Pharma, the Pharma business sector of the Galenica Group, is
involved in the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of
pharmaceutical products, with focus on the treatment of iron deficiency, in
which Vifor Pharma is one of the leading companies. It also conducts clinical
studies for the application of medications for the treatment of various
autoimmune diseases. Vifor Pharma also develops and manufactures prescription
and over-the-counter (OTC) products, including products developed or sold
under license, and markets them internationally. Vifor Pharma is
headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland.


1. Witte KK, Desilva R, Chattopadhyay S, Ghosh J, Cleland JG,
Clark AL. Are hematinic deficiencies the cause of anaemia in chronic heart
failure? American Heart Journal 2004, 147(5):924-30

2. Victor Man-Fai Sim, Michael Chi Yuen Yuen Nam, Steve Riley,
Zaheer Yousef, Joanna Hurley, Wai-yee Cheung, Sinead O'Mahony. Anaemia in
older people with chronic heart failure: The potential cost. Journal
Technology and Health Care Volume 17 Issue 5,6, December 2009

3. A J S Coats. Anaemia and heart failure. Heart. 2004
September; 90(9): 977-979

4. Stefan D. Anker, Josep Comin Colet, Gerasimos Filippatos,
Ronnie Willenheimer, Kenneth Dickstein, Helmut Drexler, Thomas F. L├╝scher,
Boris Bart, Waldemar Banasiak, Joanna Niegowska, Bridget-Anne Kirwan, Claudio
, Barbara von Eisenhart Rothe, Stuart J. Pocock, Philip A. Poole-Wilson,
Piotr Ponikowski. Ferric Carboxymaltose in Patients with Heart Failure and
Iron Deficiency. N Engl J Med 2009; 361:2436-2448

5. Tang YD, Katz SD. Anemia in chronic heart failure:
prevalence, etiology, clinical correlates, and treatment options. Circulation

For more information please contact Jo Gulliver, Caroline Beswick or Natasha Lee at Trinity PR on tel: +44(0)20-8786-3860

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