News: Decreases in Americans’ Primary Care Visits May Lead to Late Diagnoses of Potentially Serious Conditions

October 26, 2020

*The following press release has been reposted. Click here to view the original publication including a full list of references.

‘No Time to Wait’ campaign launches to educate about symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib), Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE)

October 26, 2020 08:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

PRINCETON, N.J. & NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Bristol Myers Squibb–Pfizer Alliance, with the support of leading advocacy organizations and medical societies, announces the launch of the No Time to Wait campaign. No Time to Wait aims to raise awareness of the symptoms of three conditions – atrial fibrillation (AFib), deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). AFib is the most common type of irregular heartbeat and increases the risk for stroke.2 DVT is a condition where a blood clot forms in a deep vein, which can travel to the lungs and lead to a PE—and a PE can be deadly.3,4,5 Seeking medical attention early – by phone, online or in person – may help reduce the chance of these conditions becoming something more serious.6,7

Unfortunately, many Americans have not been getting their standard healthcare this year, as indicated by IQVIA’s National Disease and Therapeutic Index of nationally representative, outpatient data. The data show a decrease in office-based primary care visits by approximately 50 percent in April through June 2020 when compared to the same timeframe the previous two years.1 While telehealth visits increased by approximately 35 percent during the same time frame, there was still about a 20 percent decrease of all types of primary care visits – showing that many people skipped their primary care appointments.1

AFib is the most common type of irregular heartbeat and increases risk for stroke by approximately five times.2,8,9 The symptoms may include, but are not limited to, irregular heartbeat, heart palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue and/or light headedness.2,6 It is estimated that 8.4 million people in the U.S. are projected to have AFib in 2020.10

“My colleagues and I are deeply concerned about the impact that delaying medical care may have on patient health,” said Andrea Russo, M.D., cardiologist, immediate past-president, Heart Rhythm Society and director of electrophysiology and arrhythmia services at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, NJ. “Atrial fibrillation may increase stroke risk approximately five-fold, so it is critical to consult with a doctor if experiencing symptoms.”

DVT is a condition where a blood clot forms in a deep vein, occurring usually in the legs, thigh, or pelvis.5 DVT symptoms may include swelling, pain, tenderness, or redness of the skin.5 DVT related blood clots, or parts of them, can break off and travel through the bloodstream to the lungs, reducing or cutting off blood supply.3 A PE is a blood clot in the lungs and is a serious condition that can be caused by DVT.3 PE may cause chest pain, discomfort or difficulty breathing – and can be deadly.5 According to CDC data from 2010, approximately 900,000 Americans are affected by DVT/PE each year.5

“It’s understandable why patients may feel compelled to avoid visiting hospitals and healthcare facilities right now. But it’s integral for them to know that not addressing symptoms may have serious consequences,” said Jenice Baker, M.D., associate emergency medicine director in Camden, NJ. “For people with symptoms that may be associated with deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, talking to a doctor is imperative.”

Individuals are encouraged to visit, where they can find additional information about AFib and DVT/PE. Through the No Time to Wait campaign, the Alliance is hoping to prompt those experiencing symptoms to reach out to a healthcare provider by phone, online, or in person. Symptoms could be representative of many conditions, so only a healthcare provider is able to make the proper diagnosis.

“The Bristol Myers Squibb-Pfizer Alliance is committed to educating Americans about the most common symptoms of AFib and DVT/PE, which are potentially serious conditions that may require time sensitive care,” said Rory O’Connor, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Internal Medicine Medical Affairs at Pfizer. “We’re proud to introduce the No Time to Wait campaign in response to the current environment, encouraging people to speak to a doctor if they feel symptoms.”

About the No Time to Wait Campaign

The Bristol Myers Squibb-Pfizer Alliance, with support of leading advocacy organizations, launched the No Time to Wait campaign to raise awareness of symptoms of atrial fibrillation (AFib) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT)/pulmonary embolism (PE). Seeking medical attention early may help reduce the chance of AFib leading to, or DVT/PE becoming, something more serious. AFib, the most common irregular heartbeat, increases the risk for stroke by approximately five times.2 DVT is a condition where the blood forms clots, which could travel to your lungs and lead to a PE — and be deadly.3,4,5 To learn more about AFib and DVT/PE, including the associated symptoms and how to prepare for a healthcare appointment, visit Visit the following resources for more information: Heart Rhythm Society, Association of Black Cardiologists,, Anticoagulation Forum, National Blood Clot Alliance, International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis: World Thrombosis Day Campaign, Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, Mended Hearts, WomenHeart, North American Thrombosis Forum, Atrial Fibrillation Association, Arrythmia Alliance and Pulmonary Embolism Response Team Consortium

About the Bristol Myers Squibb-Pfizer Collaboration

The Bristol Myers Squibb-Pfizer Alliance (the Alliance) is committed to driving education and awareness about atrial fibrillation and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and/or pulmonary embolism (PE). With long-standing cardiovascular leadership, global scale and expertise in this field, the Alliance strives to implement global, research-driven approaches to illuminate and address the unmet needs around strokes related to non-valvular atrial fibrillation, which are often fatal or debilitating.9,11 Through collaborations with non-profit organizations, the Alliance aims to provide patients, physicians and decision makers with the information they need to understand and take appropriate action on risk factors associated with stroke and other cardiovascular conditions.

About Bristol Myers Squibb

Bristol Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol Myers Squibb, visit us at or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.

About Pfizer Inc.: Breakthroughs that change patients’ lives

At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products, including innovative medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world’s premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. We routinely post information that may be important to investors on our website at In addition, to learn more, please visit us on and follow us on Twitter at @Pfizer and @Pfizer_News, LinkedIn, YouTube and like us on Facebook at


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