Lexicon Pharmaceuticals knows patients with heart failure face a series of severe health challenges that linger in their daily lives, with repeat trips to the hospital being among the most concerning and expensive.

To shed light on this difficult problem, Lexicon launched its Into the Dark campaign to raise awareness among healthcare professionals about the first 30 days since a patient with heart failure’s discharge from the hospital. Also known as the “danger zone,” this period can see patients experience an increase in the likelihood of poor outcomes and rehospitalizations. 

The disease awareness effort, unveiled over the weekend at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session, focuses on the cyclical nature of rehospitalizations faced by heart failure patients, which constitute a significant patient population.

Nearly 6.5 million Americans have heart failure, with more than 960,000 new cases each year, according to data from the Heart Failure Society of America. Just over 18% of heart failure hospitalizations had a readmission within 30 days, according to a study published in the American Heart Association Journals in 2021. 

Unsurprisingly, going back to the hospital can be a costly endeavor for this sizable patient population.

The mean heart failure-specific inpatient costs range from $10,737 to $17,830 per hospitalization, according to a study published in the Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy last year. 

“We are hopeful that the bold and thought-provoking nature of our ‘INTO THE DARK’ campaign helps to elevate awareness of the devastating outcomes commonly seen in heart failure patients within the first 30 days after they leave the hospital,” Lexicon president and CFO Jeffrey Wade said in a statement. “Patients and those who care for them are faced with uncertainty during this critical time and often find themselves back in the hospital. We are strongly motivated to raise awareness and help the heart failure community break this vicious cycle.”

Lexicon’s new campaign was part of a series of announcements and research made public at the annual cardiology conference.

Another notable piece of news was a study that found physicians who received EHR alerts for certain patients were 2.5 times more likely to prescribe heart failure drugs, specifically mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists. 

Beyond the conference, heart failure treatments have made headlines in recent days. 

Just last week, the Food and Drug Administrationdeclined to approve Cytokinetics’ heart failure drug, citing a lack of sufficient data to show the drug was effective.