Novartis partners with network of secondary prevention clinics to redefine the standard of care for cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment in Ontario

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TORONTO, Feb. 7, 2023 – Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. today announced a collaboration with health teams in Ontario to bring together a network of secondary prevention Nurse Practitioner (NP) enabled traditional and virtual cardiology clinics in select Ontario sites. The establishment of this network aims to support the prevention and identification of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), the leading driver of cardiovascular disease (CVD).3

Cardiovascular disease continues to be a leading cause of death globally and in Canada.4,5 In Ontario, cardiovascular disease accounts for approximately 36 per cent of all deaths due to a chronic illness.1 Heart disease caused by high blood cholesterol, a major controllable risk factor,6 costs the Ontario healthcare system $30.3 billion every five years.7 Lowering low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) by one unit for patients in Ontario could prevent more than 20 per cent of heart attacks and stroke.1 In the 2021 Auditor General’s Report on cardiovascular disease and stroke treatment, gaps were found in secondary prevention for ASCVD as well as with the current cardiac rehabilitation model.8 The network of secondary prevention clinics seeks to build towards a standardized care model to prevent ASCVD through cost-effective management of modifiable risk factors.

“Through this network we are embarking on innovative public-private partnerships to address some of the most pressing and challenging healthcare issues when it comes to secondary prevention care. We are excited to usher in a new era that explores new ways of working rooted in understanding the needs, goals, and priorities of Canadian decision makers to improve the healthcare pathway that ultimately meets the needs of patients,” said Andrea Marazzi, Country President, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. “This new program is in line with Novartis’ vision and commitment to solve care gaps through collaboration with stakeholders across the healthcare system. We take great pride in working alongside key stakeholders from across the province who are actively seeking new ways to reimagine healthcare and improve the health and well-being of Canadians.”

The first phase of the program consists of seven Nurse Practitioner (NP) enabled traditional and virtual clinics across Cambridge, Hamilton, Mississauga, Niagara, Oakville, Peterborough and Toronto. Novartis’ initial financial contribution is more than $1.5M. The potential to scale this project could support the development of a patient care pathway that could be adopted in other settings across Canada.

List of sites and quotes from Cardiologists leading clinics

Halton Healthcare

“The healthcare system has been stretched to the limit. We believe our innovative, sustainable approach will fill a care gap and provide exemplary care for our patients.”

–  Dr. Michael Heffernan, MD Ph.D. FRCPC FACC; Staff Cardiologist, Halton Health Care and Lead Cardiologist for the secondary prevention network

Trillium Health Partners

“This partnership will allow for patients to have more touchpoints with specialists, something our patients desperately need. Cardiovascular disease is a major cause of death and disability in Canada. While we have the expertise and knowledge, patients and the healthcare system are struggling to implement evidence-based treatments which would reduce the number of patients who have heart attacks. This innovative program will help to better educate patients, support our patients, and treat them with the best care, which they deserve.”

–  Dr. Anil Gupta, Cardiologist, Trillium Health Partners, OHC Specialty Clinics, Research Director, One Heart Care Ventures

Niagara Health

“At the Cardiology Associates of Niagara (CAN) we recognize a care gap exists in the management of patients with cardiovascular disease. The challenge, however, is not due to a lack of knowledge but rather infrastructure and systems that can support delivery of the best possible care. The provincial secondary prevention network will bridge this gap by generating pathways of care where the patient is at the center of a multidisciplinary team. By transforming the process, we will be prioritizing care for a high-risk patient population which will translate into shorter wait times, improved long term outcomes and better quality of life. The CAN clinic is excited to be a part of this pioneering work for one of the most vulnerable segments of our population.”

–  Dr. Adnan Hameed, Head of Service Cardiology at Niagara Health

Peterborough Regional Health Centre

“We have been lucky to work with a forward-thinking company like Novartis, who have been keen to create and support novel and sustainable approaches to the optimized delivery of healthcare, so necessary in these challenging times. Our partnership with the forward-thinking team at Novartis entirely benefits patients.”

–  Dr. Michael C Hartleib, MD MSc FRCPC, Chief and Director of Medicine, PRHC President, Kawartha Cardiology Clinical Trials, Kawartha Cardiology Clinic, Peterborough Regional Health Centre

Cardiac Health and Rehabilitation Program at the Hamilton Health Sciences

“Cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease, stroke and disease of the peripheral arteries, remain among the two most important causes of mortality and morbidity among Canadians and a major source of healthcare expenditure.  Cardiovascular disease patients typically have risk factors, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, smoking and obesity that need to be treated in a timely manner, using the latest evidence. Our current model of care is fragmented, resulting in delayed and often sub-optimal treatment of these risk factors. At the Hamilton Health Sciences we are excited to be part of the secondary prevention network and we have expanded this program to include comprehensive care for all cardiovascular risk factors under a ‘single roof’. Through this program, we aim to develop a model of robust and timely risk factor optimization leading to prevention of recurrent events for people who have already experienced a major health event, thus providing them the best chance at a long and healthy life. This is an innovative program, which has the potential to have a large impact and change the way we prevent recurrent events in patients with heart and vascular diseases.” 

–  Dr. Eva Lonn, Professor of Medicine at McMaster University and Medical Director of the Cardiac Health and Rehabilitation Program at the Hamilton Health Sciences

Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehab Program, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre & Toronto Rehab Institute

“We are excited to be working with Novartis to advance lipid care for cardiovascular protection. The current care pathways are not sufficiently controlling cholesterol levels in the people who need it most and this negatively impacts patient outcomes and stresses our healthcare system. With investments into new care pathways, our Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation program can now offer a dedicated clinic to address this important issue and run this in parallel with our exercise and lifestyle modification program.”

–  Dr. Paul Oh, MD MSc FRCPC FACP FAACVPR; Medical Director and GoodLife Fitness Chair, Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation Program, Toronto Rehab and Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, University Health Network; Associate Professor, University of Toronto

Cambridge Cardiac Care

“The secondary prevention network is a unique and exciting public-private partnership that can help address a large unmet need in the cardiovascular health of our province. Cardiovascular disease remains the number one cause of death and disability worldwide.  We have made enormous progress in our understanding of the causes and the treatments of cardiovascular disease. In fact, as much as 90% of heart attacks could be prevented. Yet despite this great leap in our scientific understanding of how to prevent heart disease, we are failing to implement the science and get patients access to the care and the therapies they need. The network is trying to develop a novel approach to cardiovascular risk optimization by utilizing the skills and dedication of highly trained nurse practitioners under the supervision of prevention cardiologists to deliver effective, timely and comprehensive care to patients at risk for heart disease progression.  We hope to prove that this model can be an effective adjunct to our current model of care and improve the cardiovascular health of our province.”

–  Dr. A. Shekhar Pandey, B.Sc (CL), MD, FRCPC ABIM, CBNC

About Novartis
Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. We deliver high-value medicines that alleviate society’s greatest disease burdens through technology leadership in R&D and novel access approaches. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. About 106,000 people of more than 140 nationalities work together to bring Novartis products to nearly 800 million people around the world. Find out more at

In Canada, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. employs approximately 900 people to serve the evolving needs of patients and the healthcare system and invests over $30 million in R&D yearly in the country. We pride ourselves on our commitment to diversity and inclusion. We are recognized as a Great Place to Work®, and ranked among the Top 50 Best Workplaces™, 2022 Best Workplaces™ for Women, for Giving Back, and for Hybrid Work in Canada™. For more information, visit



1 Public Health Ontario. The Burden of Chronic Diseases in Ontario. Accessed on November 24, 2022.
2 Cholesterol Treatment Trialists’ (CTT) Collaborators. Efficacy and safety of cholesterol-lowering treatment: prospective meta-analysis of data from 90 056 participants in 14 randomised trials of statins. Accessed on November 24, 2022.
3 Herrington W, Lacey B, Sherliker P, Armitage J, Lewington S. Epidemiology of atherosclerosis and the potential to reduce the global burden of atherothrombotic disease. Circ Res. 2016;118(4):535-546.
4 Public Health Ontario. Cardiovascular Disease. Accessed on March 16, 2022.
5 World Health Organization. Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Accessed on March 15, 2022.
6 Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Managing Cholesterol. Accessed on November 24, 2022.
7 Rogoza et al. Economic Burden Of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease and Specific Events In Ontario, Canada. Accessed on November 24, 2022.
8 Office of the Auditor General of Ontario. 2021 Annual Report. Accessed on November 24, 2022.

SOURCE Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.

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