Sep 06, 2022

IJN and Novartis collaborate to tackle Malaysia's heart disease problem

It is estimated that over 15 million people around the world die from Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease every year.

The National Heart Institute (IJN) and multinational pharmaceutical firm Novartis Malaysia have partnered up to help Malaysians take better care of their heart. The collaboration aimed to help patients improve disease management of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease (ASCVD) through better care and therapies.

ASCVD diseases like coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and peripheral arterial disease (PAD) are caused by the buildup of high cholesterol levels and the hardening and narrowing of arteries.

Novartis Malaysia Country President Mohamed El-Wakil said that the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over 15 million people die from ASCVD every year. This accounts for 85% of global cardiovascular death.

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s National Health and Morbidity Survey 2019 reported that non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like ASCVD accounted for 71% of premature deaths in the country.

"Of key concern within NCDs is ASCVD which contributes to 54% of all NCD deaths. This pioneering collaboration between Novartis Malaysia and IJN is crucial as it can be a potential game-changer within the ASCVD treatment paradigm. It brings together the expertise and impeccable standards of care by the nation's premier cardiovascular specialist institution, IJN, together with the comprehensive experience of Novartis in the area of cardiovascular." said Mohamed Elwakil Novartis Malaysia Country President.

IJN CEO Datuk Dr Aizai Azan Abdul Rahim said that the collaboration couldn't have come at a better time with the prevalence of ASVCD in Malaysia. He hopes that the project would achieve its goal of showcasing the best of ASCVD care.

"In addition, the Health Ministry has just revealed the National Strategic Plan for Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) 2016 - 2025, aiming to reduce NCD deaths from 20% to 15% by 2025. We are looking forward to our collaboration with Novartis Malaysia to achieve our goal of 'What Goods Looks Like' in ASCVD care." Said IJN CEO Datuk Dr Aizai Azan Abdul Rahim.

The project will be focused on:

  • Research collaboration to generate data on ASCVD in Malaysia and measure outcomes of ASCVD patients. 

  • Establishing IJN as an internationally recognized training center of excellence in ASCVD care.

  • The establishment of a state-of-the-art multi-disciplinary Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Clinic (CRRC) to optimize ASCVD care.

The CRRC was successfully launched at IJN and is hosted every Monday. The clinic provides risk management treatment for patients with cardiovascular disease and primary lipid disorders to optimize ASVCD care.

The clinic is said to operate on systematic management protocols led by a trained multi-disciplinary team of clinicians, nurses, dieticians, physiotherapists, and pharmacists.

The long-standing collaboration between Novartis Malaysia and IJN through the years has also contributed to the creation of the IJN Heart Failure Clinic and the IJN-Acute Decompensated Heart Failure (ADHF) Registry which was published internationally.

About Novartis
Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach nearly 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 108,000 people of more than 140 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at

About Novartis Malaysia
Novartis Malaysia has been present in Malaysia since 1971. Following the merger of Sandoz and Ciba-Geigy, Novartis was formed in 1996. In 2015, Kuala Lumpur was chosen as one of the five Novartis Global Service Centres which delivers a broad variety of services to the Novartis group of companies worldwide. Services offered by the Kuala Lumpur team include IT, People & Organization Services, FRA Operations, Procurement Services, Real Estate & Facilities Services and CONEXTS contributor by Clinical Research Malaysia in sponsored research with 16 research projects, leading the market of other healthcare players in this sponsored research space.


Melissa Hon
Country Head Communications & Engagement (C&E)
[email protected]