The Clinical Effectiveness Group (CEG) at Queen Mary University of London is supporting a programme to prevent 200 heart attacks and strokes in the London borough of Redbridge over five years. The team have built a data-driven tool for GP practices, to increase prescribing of statin medication and identify patients for a new ground-breaking drug that reduces cholesterol.
CEG’s tool, known as APL-CVD (Active Patient Link tool for Cardiovascular Disease), uses patient data from electronic health records to identify people who have already had a major cardiovascular event, including heart attack, angina, stroke and blockage to the arteries of the legs – about 10,000 people in Redbridge. These people are recommended to be treated with statin medication at maximum tolerated dose, but primary care data reveals only 20% are prescribed this at present. Using CEG’s tool, GPs and practice-based pharmacists can list affected patients in seconds and see the key factors that influence the right course of treatment. The tool also categorises patients according to risk, so people at greatest risk can be reviewed first.
APL-CVD will also identify a smaller group of people who are already prescribed the optimal dose of statins but have not responded to the treatment. These patients will be assessed for their suitability for a major new cholesterol-lowering drug called inclisiran, as part of a government initiative to accelerate implementation of new treatment breakthroughs.
In collaboration with Barts Hospital, pharmacists working in GP practices across Redbridge are now being trained to use CEG’s APL-CVD tool. The aim is to improve statin prescribing in the borough by at least 10% within a year - this will prevent around 200 heart attacks or strokes in the next five years (equivalent to four busloads of people).