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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Boehringer Ingelheim joins key stakeholders in charting a new course for stroke care

Health Industry Hub | August 30, 2023 |

Pharma News: In a landmark development, key stakeholders in stroke care have united to establish ambitious benchmarks aimed at guaranteeing Australians access to world-class stroke treatment. The Stroke Foundation, Stroke Society of Australasia, Australian Stroke Clinical Registry, and the Boehringer Ingelheim’s Angels Initiative have synergised their expertise at the National Stroke Targets Roundtable to develop a visionary set of objectives for Australian medical facilities to attain by 2030.

Speaking on behalf of the Stroke Society of Australasia, Professor Timothy Kleinig emphasised the imperative nature of delivering optimal and prompt stroke care to every Australian stroke patient.

“We know that fast access to expert treatment leads to improved patient outcomes and that’s exactly what the National Stroke Targets aims to achieve. This is the first step in a collaborative effort to support hospitals, stroke teams and Australian states and jurisdictions to provide best-practice, time critical stroke care for their patients, to reduce avoidable stroke-related deaths and disability,” Professor Kleinig stated.

While acknowledging the existence of commendable pockets of stroke care excellence in Australia, the backdrop reveals that the average Australian stroke patient’s care lags in delivering acute stroke reversal treatments and ensuring access to specialised stroke units, a fact reinforced by international comparisons.

In this context, the timeline for Australian patients to receive clot-dissolving medications, indicated as the door-to-needle time, emerges as a significant concern. As untreated strokes can lead to irreversible brain damage and diminish chances of recovery, the importance of swift intervention cannot be overstated. Globally accepted standards indicate that patients should receive such medications within 60 minutes of hospital arrival. Yet, in Australia, only 32% of patients meet this threshold, compared to 68% in the United States and 61% in the United Kingdom.

Expressing her dismay, Dr Lisa Murphy, CEO of the Stroke Foundation, asserted “Access to stroke units and median door-to-needle times have not shifted between 2017 and 2022. Australian stroke patients deserve better to improve their chance of survival and reduce their risk of disability after stroke.”

Stroke patients missing out on ‘revolutionary’ treatment: Organisations unite to address key barriers to equity of access to care

Dr Murphy added, “These targets are just the beginning. With a united effort and voice, support from governments and increased investments, we have an opportunity to change this situation.”

Kim Malkin, Stroke Care Program Manager at Boehringer Ingelheim and the Angels Initiative Lead said “Congratulations to the stroke community for their leadership in setting national targets to enhance stroke care standards in Australia. Australia lags behind other developed countries in the timely delivery of acute stroke care and stroke unit access. But together, we can change that.”

The new targets were announced at the combined Stroke Society of Australasia and Smart Strokes Nursing and Allied Health Scientific Meeting in Melbourne. 

  • National median endovascular clot retrieval door to puncture time <30 mins for transfers.
  • National median thrombolysis door to needle time <60 mins.
  • National median door in door out time for endovascular clot retrieval <60 mins.
  • National median endovascular clot retrieval door to puncture time <90 mins for primary presenters.
  • Certified stroke unit care provided to >90% of patients with primary stroke diagnosis.

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