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Valve for Life Initiative

Goal: Improving transcatheter valve interventions (TAVI) across Europe

This initiative was launched in four pilot countries: Poland, France, Portugal and United Kingdom.

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

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

Participating countries

The United Kingdom joined the initiative in January 2020 and was selected as the fourth Valve for Life Pilot Country for the following reasons:

  • The uptake of TAVI is still limited by commissioning, referral pathways, and restrictions related to capacity and prioritisation.
  • There is no commissioning, hence no access to, mitral interventions (no access to Mitraclip or any new valve technology), UK has limited opportunities to even start programmes, restrictions are mainly political.
  • TAVI: NHS commissioning policy pathways being drafted aim at containing or restricting TAVI for 2020.
  • The potential for mitral technology is thought to be high in the UK, as the population is largely underserved.

Valve for Life programme could facilitate access to this life-saving technology, help implement the guideline and extended TAVI indications as well as the implementation of nationwide mitral programmes.
Access the section dedicated to Valve for Life – United Kingdom.


Portugal joined the initiative in January 2017 and was selected on the basis of significant underuse of TAVI procedures when compared to other European countries and a very committed and well-organised cardiology leadership in Portugal that can address the conduct of the initiative.
Access the section dedicated to Valve for Life - Portugal.


Poland offered a government approved access but had limited funding available for transcatheter heart valve therapies and low penetration.
Access the section dedicated to Valve for Life - Poland.


France had 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), before joining the initiative. It was decided to put a focus on transcatheter valvular heart disease interventions
Access the section dedicated to Valve for Life - France

Each country is responsible for identifying barriers and implementing the initiative with the funds available.


  • Engage key stakeholders at European and national levels 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 the 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?

  • Physicians and health care professionals who receive training and information on heart valve disease
  • Health care authorities and policymakers 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.

Oversight Committee

  • Andreas Baumbach
    EAPCI President 2020-2022
  • Michael Haude
    EAPCI Past President 2018-2020
  • Dariusz Dudek
    EAPCI President 2020-2022
Valve for Life  Country Champions
  • Wojtek Wojakowski
    Valve for Life Poland
  • Martine Gilard
    Valve for Life France
  • Rui Campante Teles
    Valve for Life Portugal
  • Lino Patricio
    Valve for Life Portugal
  • Daniel Blackman
    Valve for Life Portugal

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