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Valve for Life Initiative

Improving transcatheter valve interventions across Europe.

Valve for Life logoThis initiative was launched mid 2015 and aims to improve transcatheter valve interventions (both aortic and mitral) across Europe and   

  • To raise awareness on the importance of valvular heart disease in the general population,
  • To facilitate access to novel therapies such as transcatheter heart valve interventions,
  • To raise educational standards, reduce obstacles to therapy implementation, and to diminish age
  • And gender discrimination in the access to care.


  • Engage key stakeholders at the European and national level to increase access to transcatheter heart valve therapies for patients and address disparities between countries.
  • Assist new countries in implementing Valve for Life Initiative principles at national level.
  • Demonstrate to government officials, health care administrators and health care providers the clinical and economic value of transcatheter heart valve therapy in the management of valvular heart disease.
  • Increase awareness on the inequality of patient access to the lifesaving indication of transcatheter heart valve therapy in Europe and to the European Parliament.
  • Promote synergies and collaboration between cardiologists and CV surgeons.
  • Long term strategy:
       - Increase treatment of severe valvular heart disease by 20% by 2020 in Valve for Live countries through measures such as raising awareness, increasing education, removing obstacles and implementing best practices.
       - Extend the Valve for Life initiative from the initial two pilot countries (Poland and France) to additional under-served regions in Europe.
       - Form programme ambassadors to help disseminate the programme.

Who is the target audience?

  • Beneficiaries are physicians and health care professionals who receive training and information on heart valve disease.
  • Health care authorities and policy makers to raise awareness on transcatheter valve therapies.
  • Practicing physicians to establish a referral basis.
  • In addition, it serves to establish best practices in the diagnosis and treatment of heart valve disease.

Participating countries

  • France : France has a limited number of reimbursed procedures (fixed to 7 000 per year by French Health Authority) as well as a limited number of implanting centres (only 50). Focus will be put on Transcatheter valvular heart disease interventions
  • Poland : Poland offers a government approved access but has limited funding is available for transcatheter heart valve therapies and a low penetration

What has been achieved so far?

Poland France

TAVI Public campaign to assess public awareness of TAVI
- Television campaign with video spots
- Dedicated pages on social network
- Campaign stats grouping television, radio, press, interviews, social media: reached out to 11+ million people

Meeting with Ministry of Health in October 2015

Special session dedicated to transcatheter valve therapies at the Warsaw Course on Cardiovascular Interventions on 6th April 2016 with new Ministry of Health

Debate at the Editorial Office of one of the Polish largest newspapers on 26 April 2016 with Deputy Ministry of Health with preliminary agreement for constructing of the National Transcatheter Valve Therapies Programme in Poland

Results and Expectations
- In 2015 the total number of TAVI procedures in Poland was 670: the growth in TAVI number (218) was higher (48%) than predicted by EAPCI 20% increase for 2020. Penetration of TAVI increased from 12/mlliion to 17/million.
- According to questionnaire sent to all TAVI centres in 2016 we can expect 1.039 TAVI procedures in Poland (55% increase in comparison to 2015)

Barriers identification
- Increase the number of reimbursed procedures (TAVI)
- Improve the difficult relations between cardiac surgeons and interventional cardiologists
- Increase the reimbursement for patients with secondary MR not included in Mitrafr and primary MR. (Mitraclip)

Preparation of two Registries for 2016
- Registry 1 on TAVI (RAC registry)
- Registry 2 on transcathether Mitral interventions (Mitragister registry)


Read the recent article from Stephan Windecker (President EAPCI); Michael Haude (EAPCI President-Elect) and Andreas Baumbach (EAPCI Secretary) published in EuroIntervention in January 2016  "Introducing a new EAPCI programme: the Valve for Life initiative"