Monday, Jun 7, 1999

Study Shows Simpler Procedures Employed by Industry-Sponsored Heart Attack Registry Are Comparable to More Complex Government Program

National Registry of Myocardial Infarction Validated in JACC Study; Registry Now Reports Data on Patients with High-Risk Acute Coronary Syndromes

South San Francisco, Calif. -- June 7, 1999 --

An industry-sponsored heart attack registry that allows hospitals to continuously measure quality of care can provide data to health care providers comparable to information generated by the federal government, in a simpler and less time intensive manner. The results of a comparison of the National Registry of Myocardial Infarction 2 (NRMI 2), sponsored by Genentech, Inc., and the Cooperative Cardiovascular Project (CCP), a Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) program, are published in this month's edition of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC).

The evaluation team, headed by Nathan Every, MD, MPH, FACC, Director of the Cardiovascular Outcomes Research Center at the VA Puget Sound Healthcare System and University of Washington, Seattle, examined data collected from 25,664 patients enrolled in both NRMI 2 and CCP. CCP was a one-time national effort by the HCFA to improve care for Medicare beneficiaries who suffer an acute myocardial infarction, or heart attack. Despite differences in the amount of detail collected on each patient, as well as the method of data collection, investigators determined no difference between the two databases in gaining information relevant to determining how large groups of patients responded to heart attack treatment. In fact, mortality data collected by the two databases were strikingly similar, with a difference noted in only 0.2 percent of patients.

"This evaluation is important because it demonstrates that treatment and outcomes information can be obtained independently by hospitals in a scientifically rigorous way that has two major advantages over the government program -- it is less time-intensive and the data are ongoing and continually generated," said Dr. Every.

The efficient data collection processes employed by NRMI 2 allow summary data to be reported back to participating hospitals regularly to assist them in improving patient care on an ongoing basis. Hospitals that were part of the CCP program may have been subject to a considerable time delay in receiving aggregate data -- often two years or more from the time of hospitalization.

Registry Expands Its Reporting Capabilities to Include Acute Coronary Syndromes

Launched in 1994, NRMI 2 involved more than 1,500 hospitals and was designed to evaluate the presentation, treatment and outcome patterns of heart attack patients, as well as to examine patient risk factors related to outcomes and utilization of hospital resources. The latest phase of the NRMI program, NRMI 3 will enhance the findings of NRMI 2 by also examining the treatment and outcomes of high-risk acute coronary syndromes (ACS) patients who ultimately experience a heart attack.

ACS comprises a wide range of acute heart conditions and affects more than 13.9 million people in the United States, while heart attack strikes 1.1 million Americans each year. As atherosclerosis ("hardening of the arteries") is the principal cause of acute coronary syndromes, it can be a strong predictor of a future heart attack. ACS is considered the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among men and women in the United States today.

NRMI 3, a multicenter observational heart attack study, is designed to collect data aimed at supporting centers' continuous quality improvement efforts, and is listed as an accepted performance measurement tool to improve patient care by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the group responsible for hospital accreditation.

"It is gratifying that the commitment of NRMI is providing hospitals throughout the country with the ability to monitor the progress of heart attack patients, as well as those at high risk for future events," said William French, MD, Professor of Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine and NRMI investigator. "This ensures that patients are provided the best available treatments and hospitals are provided key data to better evaluate and utilize their resources," said Dr. French.

Genentech, Inc. is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and markets human pharmaceuticals for significant unmet medical needs. Twelve of the currently marketed biotechnology products stem from Genentech science. Genentech markets seven biotechnology products directly in the United States. The company has headquarters in South San Francisco, California, and is traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the Pacific Exchange under the symbol GNE.

# # #