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A visit to my local pharmacy to get a prescription yields this news.....Diovan, a popular and effective anti-hypertension drug has just gone generic [as Valsartan].  

The 'good news' part of this is that a typical user of Valsartan will probably save over $700 per year paying for the drug because of its new availability as a generic medication.

Valsartan is an angiotensin 2 receptor blocker.    Many previous anti-hypertensives were known as angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors).   That is an medication that reduces the rate/amount of the transformation of angiotensin 1 to angiotensin 2 (A2 has greater ability to cause vasoconstriction than A1).  

My own personal experience was that the ACE inhibitors [like Lisiniprill] caused me more negative side effects than taking the angiotensin 2 receptor blocking drug, Diovan/Valsartan.

A common dual drug therapy for hypertension is to combine a drug like Valsartan with a diuretic, like hydrochlorothiazide, which is also quite inexpensive.

6:14 PM PT: Read more about the medical/clinical management of high blood pressure from the best source of information that taxpayer money can buy, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/...

6:58 PM PT: Diovan [Valsartan} patient information:

http://www.diovan.com/...

Doctor's prescribing information:

http://www.diovan.com/...

7:07 PM PT: Here is the direct URL of the PDF of the NHLBI hypertension monograph:

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/...

7:12 PM PT: From NHLBI-NIH-USHHS:

"Current control rates for hypertension in the United States are clearly unacceptable. Approximately 30 percent of adults are still unaware of their hypertension, >40 percent of individuals with hypertension are not on treatment, a nd two-thirds of hypertensive patients are not being controlled to BP levels <140/90 mmHg (table 1). Furthermore, the decline rates in CHD- and stroke-associated deaths have slowed in the past decade. In addition, the prevalence and hospitalization rates of HF,  wherein the majority of patients have hypertension prior to developing HF, have continued to increase (figures 5 and 6). Moreover, there is an increasing trend in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) by primary diagnosis. Hypertension is second only to diabetes as the most common antecedent for this condition (figure 7). Undiagnosed, untreated, and uncontrolled hypertension clearly places a substantial strain on the health care delivery system."

8:35 PM PT: This diary should not be construed as LakeSuperior attempting to practice medicine without a license.  

However, as Democrats we are necessarily public trust stewards of science, public health, health care service availability/delivery and of beneficial social change drivers.

As progressive Democrats who want to win, because winning means governance....we must provide a compelling alternative vision of governing stewardship to the public and voters as that is the basis of our strength.

Public health stewardship means understanding the critical consequences

of our present situation with high blood pressure in the United States as identified in the previous update....and recognizing such facts as challenges and opportunities and responsibilities for Democrats.


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