Member Spotlight: International Society of Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy

The International Society of Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy (ISCP) was born 36 years ago at the initiative of Professor Henry Neufeld, former Mayo Clinic Fellow and President of the International Society and Federation of Cardiology, who summoned several world leaders in the cardiovascular medicine including Stanley Taylor, Chuichi Kawai, Elliot Rapaport and Jay Cohn, among others, to create a global society with a specific focus on cardiovascular pharmacotherapy. At that time, applied cardiovascular pharmacotherapy was in its prime, with the publication of large clinical RCTs testing the effects of several pharmacological agents discovered during the preceding two-three decades. That was also the era when breakthrough acute myocardial infarction trials such as GISSI, ISIS and TIMI were conceived and carried out. Professor Wilhelm Rutishauser, Past President of the World Heart Federation (WHF), played a central role in developing ISCP as major international society, organizing the first Annual Meeting in 1985 in Geneva.

ISCP’s educational and scientific activities have continued unabated. In the early 2000s, when cardiology was eagerly incorporating a variety of devices that allowed the development of important endovascular and endocardial interventional treatment strategies i.e. PCI , ICD and CRT, EP ablation, ISCP pioneered important educational work on the role of pharmacological cardiovascular disease prevention.

In the late 1990s, Professor Antonio Bayes de Luna, WHF Past President, and Professor Juan Carlos Kaski played a significant role in consolidating ISCP as a world recognized association, aiming to promote the dissemination of knowledge on cardiovascular pharmacotherapy and facilitate appropriate and effective clinical use of pharmacological agents worldwide. Since then, ISCP has grown exponentially, bringing together cardiac physicians, pharmacologists, pharmacists, scientists, medical practitioners, and researchers in the field of cardiovascular pharmacotherapy. ISCP’s Annual Scientific Congresses and both regional and local meetings represent suitable fora for the fruitful exchange of information among health care professionals. ISCP’s  interactive online platforms and publications, such as peer-review journal (European Cardiology Review), and book series contribute to its educational efforts.

In this current era of revival and formidable expansion of cardiovascular pharmacotherapy, which includes new developments in thrombocardiology with the development of new antiplatelet drugs and new anti-thrombotic agents, PCSK9-inhibitors (the first biologic drug compounds applied  in CV treatment), the introduction of  saccubitril-valsartan, GLP1 agonists and SGLT2 antagonists, among many other developments, ISCP continues to open new avenues to promote appropriate pharmacologic treatments for patients with CVD.

From a global socio-economic perspective, the issues of poly-pharmacy, drug interactions and drug adherence, represent further formidable challenges. Theranostics is also around the corner. In this challenging scenario, the educational role played by ISCP may be exemplified by the most recent annual ISCP meeting in May 2019 in Lugano, that counted with the presence of some of the most outstanding clinicians and researchers from the all over the world, and which boasted – as its «jewels on the crown» – the ISCP Lifetime Achievement Award Lecture by Dr Eugene Braunwald and the Henry Neufeld Award Lecture delivered by Professor Salim Yusuf. The forthcoming ISCP Annual Scientific Meeting will take place in Miami, Florida, on May 8th and 9th 2020.

Doctor Eugene Braunwald receiving the ISCP Lifetime Achievement Award from Doctor Juan Carlos Kaski, ISCP Past President and Editor in Chief of ECR