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AstraZeneca’s Dapagliflozin now approved to treat adult patients with heart failure in Phl

Dapagliflozin, a medicine developed by British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, is now approved in the Philippines for the treatment of adult patients suffering from heart failure.

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Dapagliflozin, a medicine developed by British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, is now approved in the Philippines for the treatment of adult patients suffering from heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) to reduce the need for hospitalization and risk of mortality.

With the approval, Dapagliflozin is the first and only drug under the sodium glucose transport protein 2 inhibitor (SGLT2i) class approved to treat heart failure in adult patients with reduced ejection fraction. It is the only SGLT2i proven to significantly prevent cardiovascular death and death due to other causes in these heart failure patients.

In a virtual discussion hosted by AstraZeneca Philippines, experts from the Philippines and around the world talked about the latest medical development and treatment for heart failure.

According to Dr. Erlyn Demerre, chair of Heart Failure Program at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City, heart failure is dominating the cardiovascular landscape not just in the Philippines but globally. It is considered a global pandemic affecting a lot of people worldwide and it is increasing in prevalence.

Global data show that the overall known prevalence rate of heart failure is three to 20 patients per 1,000 population although this exceeds a 100 per 1,000 in those age 65 years and over. The annual incidence of heart failure is one to five per 1,000 and the relative incidence doubles for each decade of life after the age of 45, and that in one in three die within a year and one out of four are re-admitted in a hospital in 30 days with much morbidity and poor quality of life.

“It is still an ongoing pandemic. Much work has been put into the study of heart failure and we are definitely on a better position in the diagnosis and management of heart failure now. But, ironically, despite medical management and significant advance in therapies and prevention, heart failure is still a major and increasing burden all over the world with high mortality and morbidity and poor quality of life,” said Demerre.  

Lotis Ramin, country president at AstraZeneca Philippines, relayed that nine out of 10 patients are symptomatic even with current heart failure standard of care (SoC), and nearly one-third or one out of three patients suffering from heart failure with reduced ejection fraction are at risk of hospitalization which increases the risk of mortality.

Professor David Sim, president of the Heart Failure Society in Singapore, noted that nine million people in Southeast Asia have heart failure with an overall 15% mortality rate. However, pharmacological options for heart failure have increased over the last decade and guideline-directed heart failure pharmacotherapy cumulatively reduced mortality by 76%. 

Sim emphasized that “the approval of Dapagliflozin for the treatment of HFrEF in the Philippines is a major step forward in the battle against the disease burden of heart failure. Together with the current standard of care, Dapagliflozin will contribute further to a lower mortality, less hear failure hospitalization and importantly a better quality of life for patients suffering from heart failure.”

In his presentation on Dapagliflozin and Prevention of Adverse-outcomes in Heart Failure Trial (DAPA HF) Trial: A New Era in Heart Failure Management, Professor Piotor Ponikowski of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology cited that “heart failure is becoming a preventable and treatable diseases, with medication that allows patients to live longer and live better outside of hospital.”

It is the first outcomes trial with an SGLT2 inhibitor investigating the treatment of HFrEF. The results showed a reduction of 26% in the occurrence of cardiovascular death, hospitalization for heart failure (hHF) and Urgent Hospital Visit for heart failure along with a 30% reduction in hHF. Dapagliflozin’s significant 18% reduction in cardiovascular death and 17% reduction on death due to other causes which were only seen in the DAPA HF study.

“Dapagliflozin has the ability to reduce mortality, prevent hospital admission, improve clinical status, functional capacity, and quality of life,” said Ponikowski.

With the confirmation of Dapagliflozin as a medication to treat adult persons suffering from heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, Ramin said “we hope this development and Dapagliflozin life-saving efficacy can transform the heart failure standard of care.”

REYNALDO “Rey” R. VICENTE’s career experience involves mostly research in publishing companies. He previously held the position of Research and Events Director of Media G8way Corp., publisher of Computerworld Philippines (CWP), PC World Philippines, and IT Resource. He also handled events organized for CWP. Prior to this, he was a Research Head of a business publication. Now as co-publisher of Zest Magazine, Rey also serves as Managing Editor. Rey finished his bachelor’s degree majoring in Economics at the University of Santo Tomas.

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Can health insurance be sustainable? 44% of Filipinos agree

In an earlier report by Nielsen, it showed that almost three-fourths of consumers around the world would change how they shop “to reduce their impact on the environment.”

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When it comes to conscious choices, it appears Filipinos do care about what they add to their carts. A recent survey by Allianz PNB Life found that about 42% of consumers are more likely to shop sustainably.

In an earlier report by Nielsen, it showed that almost three-fourths of consumers around the world would change how they shop “to reduce their impact on the environment.”

“What we are seeing now is ‘the rise of the conscious consumer.’ People are now more likely to favor products marketed as eco-friendly and/or having a significant impact on the communities around them,” said Allianz CEO and President Alexander Grenz.

According to the study by Allianz, 51% of respondents recognized the challenges of environmental issues like climate change and how it can negatively affect them and future generations in terms of health, wealth, and relationships, among others.

Respondents consider responsible shopping, together with education and environmental justice, to be among the three most important ways to achieve sustainability globally. Additionally, 34% said they are willing to spend more (P5,000 and up) for sustainable products, while 44% would stick to a brand that promotes sustainability.

In terms of which specific products they bought, 70% of consumers said they always went for sustainable food and beverage. This was followed by services (65%), fashion or apparel (46%), and gadgets (29%).

“Filipinos clearly want to be as sustainable as possible with the different products they buy daily,” said Allianz Chief Marketing Officer Gino Riola. “For example, a good number of people would be willing to patronize services like insurance if it were sustainable.”

Among those surveyed, 44% agreed that health insurance can be green and sustainable. Forty-three percent said they were likely to purchase this kind of insurance. To address this growing demand, Allianz PNB Life adds more insurance solutions to its growing portfolio of sustainable offers.

Allianz Healthbox provides all-in-one access to various healthcare services. These include teleconsultations, medicine delivery, mental health wellness, laboratory services, and ambulance booking from trusted providers like KonsultaMD and Generika Pharmacy. With easy-to-avail benefits and exclusive freebies and discounts, Allianz Healthbox is a holistic approach to healthcare in the pandemic and beyond.

For nature lovers who prefer more visibility with their pledges, Allianz Protect is a simple yet comprehensive plan that can help secure the future of both Filipinos and the planet. It provides full-spectrum protection in case of death, dismemberment, and disability, and comes with flexible, budget-friendly renewal terms. It also comes with a Sustainability Protection Rider which allows customers to make a yearly contribution to the World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) Foodshed Farming Enterprise Project.

In a recently concluded roundtable discussion, Allianz doubled down on its commitment to its sustainability with more initiatives this 2022. Earlier this year, they partnered with SOS Children’s Villages to deliver aid to Typhoon Odette victims and kickstart the YouthCan! mentorship program. Last April, the insurer also launched the first leg of its financial literacy program, Allianz Kaagapay, in Pangasinan.

“Our survey results show that Filipinos are becoming more mindful of the future and taking more holistic steps in preparing for it. Allianz PNB Life acknowledges its major role in this journey by making sustainability a more active and accessible practice for Filipinos,” Grenz added.

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Why Santé Barley and Santé Daily-C are your partners in this cold, rainy season

To gear up yourself during the ‘Brrr’ months, here’s how you can prepare with Santé.

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It feels nothing but joy to realize that the holiday season is just around the corner because, finally, we can start using our sweaters and jackets and get cozy with our holiday hot drinks. The Ber Months mark the start of the joyful season and the start of colder nights. But are you prepared to face these times?  

It is only fitting to prepare yourself for the holiday season because it is best to celebrate it with your loved ones in your best shape. And for Santé, a premier natural health and wellness product, and services provider, celebrating the holiday season healthy is one of the greatest joys they can provide for people. With the COVID-19 pandemic and other health risks like the common cold, it is easy to get more exposed during the colder season.  

According to an article, cold, rainy weather is not the reason people get sick; the viruses get stronger during the cooler temperature. These viruses spread faster, which increases the chance of exposure. To combat this, your immune system needs to be stronger than ever.  

To gear up yourself during the ‘Brrr’ months, here’s how you can prepare with Santé.  

Take your vitamins  

One of the easiest ways for viruses and illnesses to enter your body is when you have a weak immune system. During the cold season, it is vital to strengthen your immune system to fully combat all viruses and bacteria that can cause cough, flu, cold, and more. While you can get a good number of vitamins and nutrition from the food you eat, it is also essential to take vitamins to support your body. 

Vitamin is one of the important vitamins you should get for yourself because it is essential for your growth and boosts your immunity. If you want to get your daily dose of Vitamin C, it is time to include Santé Daily-C in your daily routine. 

Santé Daily-C is the perfect vitamin for you and your loved ones in the ‘Brr’ months. It’s a non-acidic vitamin C that contains 568mg of Sodium Ascorbate. Since it’s a Sodium Ascorbate, it’s gentler on the stomach and safer for daily use. With Santé Daily-C, you can get the most out of this vitamin source without experiencing acidic pain. Santé Daily-C is available in three variants: Daily-C 500mg, Daily-C 750mg, and Daily-C Plus. 

Switch to healthier eating habits  

Of course, vitamins will not work on their own. You will need a good eating habit that will support the other vitamins and nutrients your body needs. If you are looking for a sign to go green and eat more vegetables and fruits more often, this is it.  

Instead of eating junk food whenever you are stressed, try eating healthier snacks like salads. Moreover, if you love soft drinks, artificial juice, and drinks with too much sugar, it is also time to drop them and switch to a healthier alternative. Santé Barley is the best healthy drink that you can try.   

Santé Barley is a pure barley grass powdered drink rightly mixed with stevia, one of nature’s most potent sweeteners. Santé Barley used barley grass harvested in New Zealand and is certified by BioGro as organic. This is best to take before meals and is also easy to prepare. You can adjust the taste of Santé Barley according to your liking by adjusting the water. Available in 3g sachets or in 200g canisters, Santé Barley is sure to complete your balanced diet.  

Restock your medical supply  

Because you will be more susceptible to viruses and illnesses during the cold season, restocking every medical supply needed in an emergency is crucial. One of the essential things to replenish is your go-to medicine for cough, colds, and flu. It is also vital to restock your sanitation kits like alcohol, disinfectant sprays, anti-bacterial soaps and wet wipes, and more that you can use to eliminate germs and viruses on any surface.  

You can also restock some supplements to keep your body healthy in your medical supply. Aside from getting more stocks of Santé Daily-C, you should also include Santé Barley™ capsules in your medical kit.   

Santé Barley™ capsules are a 500-mg pure barley grass powder packed in vegetable capsules, and this is best to take before meals. Once you add this capsule to your routine, it will help increase your stamina and energy, strengthen your immune system, and give you more benefits that will keep you healthy during the cold season.  

Take a pause and rest 

Usually, during Ber Months, people are busier than usual. There are many factors why and sometimes, it is so easy to get caught up with the hustle culture that we tend to forget to take a pause and rest for ourselves.  

Remember, the holiday season is about spending time with your loved ones. And you probably cannot do it if your body is too tired from all the external stress you encounter. Now that the weather is colder, it is time to take all the warm hugs from your loved ones and treasure every moment.  

While resting, it is also vital to include the vitamins and supplements from Santé to regain all the energy and nutrients you lost. Santé believes that to prepare for the cold season, you should also take care of your body. Using products with natural ingredients will surely make your Ber Months merrier.  

“At Santé, we believe that spending the holiday season healthy is the greatest gift you can give to your loved ones. As a prime mover in the health and wellness industry, we always believe that these products should be more accessible to everyone so that every family and friend can always enjoy a healthy body,” said Joey Marcelo, chief executive officer of Santé.  

Santé Daily-C and Santé Barley are natural health and wellness products offered by Santé. Dedicated to developing a comprehensive selection of everyday wellness products, Santé designed all its goods to improve people’s quality of life, to live more, and do more.   

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Shinagawa launches diagnostic and preventive care center in Taguig, BGC

The Shinagawa Diagnostic and Preventive Care Center is set to open in the first quarter of 2023, featuring the company’s support to uplift the Philippine healthcare industry.

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Leading Lasik provider in the country, Shinagawa Lasik & Aesthetics announces its first-of-its-kind Japanese standard diagnostic center, focusing on advanced preventive and overall medical care for the public. 

The Shinagawa Diagnostic and Preventive Care Center is set to open in the first quarter of 2023, featuring the company’s support to uplift the Philippine healthcare industry. The newest establishment is poised to also heighten health and prevention awareness among Filipinos through round-the-clock check-ups and examinations, encouraging the public to subscribe to a preventive approach to caring for their well-being.

The diagnostic center is a testament to the company’s commitment of bringing “Health and Wellness for All” as aligned with SDG Goal #3. The Shinagawa Diagnostic and Preventive Care Center will be operating under a separate subsidiary of the Shinagawa Healthcare Solutions Corporation (SHSC), specializing in advanced yet affordable preventive treatment for its patients.

“With the Shinagawa Diagnostic and Preventive Care Center, we get to promote a preventive medical approach and improve accessibility for our expertise in a specialized facility. As we expand our business, we also bring advanced technological support, specialized testing, and even same-day test results all housed in our brand-new diagnostic center. This improved medical management likewise elevates the standards of Philippine healthcare and preventive medicine as a whole,” said Masako Uemori, President of Shinagawa LASIK and Aesthetics, Philippines.

Offering advanced diagnostic solutions

Shinagawa recently partnered with Philips, a leader in health technology, for precision diagnostics imaging solutions supporting preventive medicine. By collaborating with Philips, Shinagawa’s diagnostic center can offer advanced testing equipment for a more seamless patient experience.

The diagnostic center is expected to include the Philips MR 5300 which will be the country’s first helium-free MRI Technology. This MRI machine also utilizes Philips’ IntelliSpace Portal, an Advanced Visualization solution for diagnostic confidence and advanced analysis needs. Through this helium-free MRI scanner, Shinagawa offers a redesigned MRI machine with upgraded image quality.

Shinagawa will also be having the Philips Ultrasound System 3300, another imaging instrument that offers an ergonomic design for healthcare professionals to view images with ease, prioritizing patient comfort. This highly versatile machine allows multi-level XRES to fine-tune images and can be used for multiple clinical settings – from general, obstetrics, gynecology, to cardiovascular. 

At the Shinagawa Diagnostic and Preventive Care Center, future patients can experience the Japanese standard in preventive medicine with technologically advanced and innovative healthcare machines. 

Individuals who are interested may check out Shinagawa’s official Facebook page @ShinagawaLasikCenter or the official website at www.shinagawa.ph to book an appointment hassle-free. Shinagawa branches are located at Ore Central Tower in BGC, The Enterprise Center in Makati, and Hanston Square Bldg in Ortigas Center.

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