As the world continues to navigate the challenges posed by COVID-19, Amgen remains focused on its mission to serve patients. The pandemic is upending the lives of millions of people, including those with cardiovascular disease or cardiovascular risk factors, who may experience more serious complications if they’re infected by COVID-19.
The pandemic has also led to disruptions in care for non-COVID-19 patients. A recent statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) describes an alarming drop in the number of people going to hospitals for heart attacks and other cardiovascular events, and a study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed a 38% decrease in admissions, after March 1, for a serious type of heart attack called STEMI.
Whether people are avoiding hospitals due to fear of the virus, or because they don’t want to overburden hospitals, it’s important that everyone with chronic health conditions, or those experiencing medical emergencies, can get the care they need.
“During this time, the American Heart Association urges patients to follow the basics. People with risk factors for heart disease and stroke should continue to manage their cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and live a heart healthy lifestyle,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive officer of the American Heart Association. “Individuals with cardiovascular risk factors appear to be at higher risk if they contract COVID-19 and we are grateful for Amgen’s support to help us find scientific answers to critical questions about the connection between heart disease and COVID-19.”
To help support the cardiovascular community during this time, Amgen has donated $1 million to support the AHA’s COVID-19 rapid response efforts.
“We are encouraged by the work that the AHA is doing to keep cardiovascular disease, and the things we can do to prevent it, front and center throughout this crisis,” said Robert Bradway, Amgen chief executive officer and longtime member of the AHA’s CEO Roundtable. “There are so many things about this virus that we do not know, including its clinical impact. We felt a responsibility to be part of the solution with you.”
As a science-driven organization, Amgen recognizes that data is essential for understanding what patients are experiencing and how a disease is manifesting – which in turn helps focus the collective efforts to help those patients. While Amgen’s donation will support a number of COVID-19-related initiatives, the formation of the AHA COVID-19 patient registry will help answer some of these questions. This registry will improve the scientific community’s understanding of how the virus impacts cardiovascular health and better manage patients for improved health outcomes.
“I’ve never seen a moment when the industry has worked as quickly and collaboratively across the health care ecosystem to tackle a challenge,” Bradway said. “Science is at its best when we share and work as a community.”