Oct 19, 2021
  • Invisible Nation is a worldwide network of patient organizations committed to driving a decline in cardiovascular (CV) death by effecting systemic change in atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) care

  • Facilitated by Novartis, Invisible Nation will aim to reduce and ultimately prevent many of the 15 million1 ASCVD deaths each year and dramatically lower what is estimated to become $1 trillion in annual CV disease care cost by 20302

  • Network members will engage policymakers, healthcare systems and others to change the way ASCVD is identified, managed, and ultimately, prevented

Basel, October 19, 2021 – Global Heart Hub and Novartis today announced the launch of the Invisible Nation program. Invisible Nation will bring together a worldwide network of patient organizations and other stakeholders in the cardiovascular (CV) space committed to effecting systemic change in the management of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). The program aims to prevent many of the 15 million yearly ASCVD deaths1 and reduce what could soon become $1 trillion in annual CV disease cost2.

Although the vast majority of ASCVD-related deaths are preventable3, most countries are not yet on course to meet the World Health Organization (WHO) goal of a 25% reduction in CV mortality by 20253. Invisible Nation will highlight the human and societal costs of ASCVD, advocate for high-level government commitments to tackle the disease and bring forward innovative partnerships and novel access models that can fast-track a worldwide effort to reduce ASCVD-related mortality.

“Many are surprised to learn that millions and millions of people die each year from ASCVD, and they are even more surprised when they realize that this terrible loss of life is roughly 60% higher than the number of deaths attributed to cancer,” said Neil Johnson, Executive Director of the Global Heart Hub. “This is a shocking fact, and even more shocking is that 80% of CV events can be prevented. Patient organizations have an opportunity – and a responsibility – to expose the realities of ASCVD, leading to a better prognosis and reduction in premature deaths. By increasing awareness, we will activate change.”

Invisible Nation will advocate for policy-shaping efforts to rewrite how governments, health systems and others can work together to change the trajectory of ASCVD and begin a generational decline in CV death.

Starting today, Global Heart Hub will begin working with patient groups and CV stakeholders to finalize the action plan and align on specific initiatives designed to help governments and health systems reach the WHO goal of a 25% reduction in CV mortality by 20253. Novartis will assist this community-driven movement by helping network members access the information and evidence needed to engage with local health systems, health authorities and policymakers.

Alongside Invisible Nation, Novartis supports the recent Declaration of the G20 Health Ministers, which acknowledges that non-communicable diseases, such as CV disease, may increase the severity and risk of death from COVID-19. Novartis is also committed to working with renowned thought leaders, medical societies, health authorities and non-governmental organizations around the world to highlight the urgency to treat CV disease and identify new partnership models for broader access to innovation and healthcare system transformation.

“We see Invisible Nation as a catalyst for action among patient organizations worldwide,” said Marie-France Tschudin, President of Novartis Pharmaceuticals. “The groups that speak for the millions of people globally who die from ASCVD have a powerful mandate to ensure that it is recognized and addressed as the number one killer in the world. Novartis is proud to partner with Global Heart Hub and take this next concrete step to reverse this health crisis and make the loss of life and financial cost of ASCVD unignorable.”

To learn more, visit www.InvisibleNation.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can generally be identified by words such as “potential,” “can,” “will,” “plan,” “may,” “could,” “would,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “seek,” “look forward,” “believe,” “committed,” “investigational,” “pipeline,” “launch,” or similar terms, or by express or implied discussions regarding potential marketing approvals, new indications or labeling for the investigational or approved products described in this press release, or regarding potential future revenues from such products. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on our current beliefs and expectations regarding future events and are subject to significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. There can be no guarantee that the investigational or approved products described in this press release will be submitted or approved for sale or for any additional indications or labeling in any market, or at any time. Nor can there be any guarantee that such products will be commercially successful in the future. In particular, our expectations regarding such products could be affected by, among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including clinical trial results and additional analysis of existing clinical data; regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally; global trends toward healthcare cost containment, including government, payor and general public pricing and reimbursement pressures and requirements for increased pricing transparency; our ability to obtain or maintain proprietary intellectual property protection; the particular prescribing preferences of physicians and patients; general political, economic and business conditions, including the effects of and efforts to mitigate pandemic diseases such as COVID-19; safety, quality, data integrity or manufacturing issues; potential or actual data security and data privacy breaches, or disruptions of our information technology systems, and other risks and factors referred to in Novartis AG’s current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Novartis is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Invisible Nation
Currently 300 million people live with ASCVD1 – more than the populations of Canada, South Africa, France, Mexico and Singapore combined – a number that is quietly growing4. After recognizing that the significant prevalence of ASCVD continues to hide in plain sight, Global Heart Hub and Novartis decided to create Invisible Nation. The name of the program reflects the massive unseen burden, which can no longer be ignored. Visit www.InvisibleNation.com for ASCVD resources and access to upcoming conferences and virtual events, which will feature key opinion leaders, patient groups, experts, policymakers and others.

About Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease (ASCVD)
Atherosclerosis corresponds to the accumulation of lipids over time, mainly low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the inner lining of the arteries. Unexpected rupture of an atherosclerotic plaque can cause an atherosclerotic cardiovascular event such as a heart attack or stroke5-6. ASCVD accounts for over 85% of all cardiovascular disease deaths3. ASCVD is the primary cause of death in the European Union7. The number of deaths from ASCVD is roughly 60% higher than the number of deaths attributed to cancer8.   ASCVD risk equivalent corresponds to conditions that confer a similar risk for an ASCVD event (e.g., diabetes, heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia)9-10.

About Novartis in Cardiovascular-Renal-Metabolism
Cardiovascular (CV), renal and metabolic diseases are a global health crisis3,11-13. These chronic, complex and often hereditary diseases are frequently inter-related, and come with healthcare and treatment barriers and a lack of transformative medicines and almost always lead to the same outcome: death due to CV disease3,11-13.

CV disease is the number one killer in the world3. Taking more lives than all cancers combined, it contributes to one in every three deaths globally3,14. Of all CV events, 80% can be prevented15. Patients and their families deserve better, and our society deserves more.

Thanks to a combination of our legacy, global footprint and leading science, Novartis is uniquely positioned to help change this landscape. We are transforming the way we think about the relationship between these diseases and how they are managed throughout life. Our efforts include the use of early interventions and the development of pioneering treatments that address the spectrum of CV, renal and metabolic diseases, from prevention to management, as well as the creation of innovative access models. By re-writing the way we work with society, we will lead a worldwide effort to improve health outcomes and roll back the crisis of CV death.

Our goal is to bend the curve of life by reducing and stopping premature death from CV disease.

About Novartis
As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create 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 110,000 people of more than 140 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at https://www.novartis.com.

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  1. Roth GA, Mensah GA, Johnson CO, et al. Global Burden of Cardiovascular Diseases and Risk Factors, 1990-2019: Update from the GBD 2019 Study [published correction appears in J Am Coll Cardiol. 2021;77(15):1958-1959]. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020;76(25):2982-3021.
  2. Bloom DE, Cafiero ET, Jané-Llopis E, et al. The Global Economic Burden of Noncommunicable Diseases. Geneva: World Economic Forum. 2011.
  3. World Health Organization (WHO). Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cardiovascular-diseases-(cvds). [Last accessed October 2021].
  4. Barquera S, Pedroza-Tobías A, Medina C, et al. Global Overview of the Epidemiology of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease. Arch Med Res. 2015;46(5):328-338.
  5. Mayo Clinic. Arteriosclerosis / atherosclerosis. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arteriosclerosis-atherosclerosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350569. [Last accessed October 2021].
  6. Goldstein J, Brown M. A century of cholesterol and coronaries: from plaques to genes to statins. Cell. 2015;161(1):161-172.
  7. OECD/The King’s Fund. Is Cardiovascular Disease Slowing Improvements in Life Expectancy?: OECD and The King’s Fund Workshop Proceedings. OECD Publishing, Paris. 2020.
  8. World Health Organization (WHO). Noncommunicable diseases. Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/noncommunicable-diseases. [Last accessed October 2021].
  9. Ray K, Wright R, Kallend D, et al. Two Phase 3 Trials of Inclisiran in Patients with Elevated LDL Cholesterol. N Engl J Med. 2020;382(16):1507-1519.
  10. National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III). Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III) final report. Circulation. 2002;106(25):3143-3421.
  11. National Kidney Foundation. Global Facts: About Kidney Disease. Available at: https://www.kidney.org/kidneydisease/global-facts-about-kidney-disease. [Last accessed October 2021].
  12. Levey AS, Atkins R, Coresh J, et al. Chronic kidney disease as a global public health problem: approaches and initiatives – a position statement from Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes. Kidney Int. 2007;72(3):247-259.
  13. World Health Organization. Diabetes. Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/diabetes. [Last accessed October 2021].
  14. American Cancer Society. Global Cancer Facts & Figures 4th Edition. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/global-cancer-facts-and-figures/global-cancer-facts-and-figures-4th-edition.pdf. [Last accessed October 2021].
  15. World Health Organization (WHO). Cardiovascular diseases - Data and statistics. https://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/noncommunicable-diseases/cardiovascular-diseases/data-and-statistics. [Last accessed October 2021].

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