The estimate comes as NHS data reveals CVD drugs account for a third of prescriptions in primary care, but just a fifth of drug spending.
NICE calculates that, even in an average-sized PCT with low deprivation, improved treatment could prevent 25 CVD events and save £115,000 a year. This is equivalent to over £21m across the UK.
In PCTs with high levels of deprivation, over 30 events a year could be prevented and £142,000 saved, NICE says.
The figures are based on the cost savings that could be achieved by addressing CVD modifiable risk factors in people aged 40 and over.
Professor Mike Kirby, a GP in Hertfordshire with an interest in cardiovascular disease, said there were ‘really good’ cost-effectiveness arguments for improving CVD treatment and ‘keeping people away from cardiologists’.
‘In terms of primary prevention, it’s about keeping people healthy for longer,’ he said.
‘With secondary prevention, most of the cost is related to dealing with complications. That is a real cost to the NHS.’