Smoothing the Bumpy Road to Antiarrhythmic Drug Development
"If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere."
Frank A. Clark
The prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF) is predicted to increase exponentially over the coming decades1, which will have important implications for patients' health, quality of life and the global economy. The AFFIRM trial found that pharmacological rate-control strategies are equivalent to rhythm control for reduction of mortality in AF2. However, it is widely believed that these results reflect the limited efficacy and significant adverse event profile of current antiarrhythmic drugs. Indeed, retrospective sub-studies of the AFFIRM data demonstrated improved mortality in patients who remained in sinus rhythm during treatment3. More importantly, these patients have reduced symptoms and a better quality of life.
- Received October 19, 2015.
- Accepted October 19, 2015.