Cardiologist hits at drug supply delays

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Patients with heart conditions are facing delays in access to approved drugs which could reduce their risk of stroke, a cardiology expert has warned.

Professor Keith Fox told the Scottish Parliament’s health committee that doctors were “absolutely frustrated” at the “cumbersome” process required to get some treatments.

He described the difficulties facing consultants in getting new drugs for patients with atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat. Around 125,000 people in Scotland have the condition, with about 15 per cent of those aged over 80.

“We have a really serious issue with a major under-recognition of the condition atrial fibrillation,” said Prof Fox, who is Duke of Edinburgh professor of cardiology at Edinburgh University.

“Why is it important? Because a quarter of those will have a stroke within five years.”