Friday, March 16, 2012

Anti-stroke drug approved by National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (UK)

Pradaxa, which has been described as the "holy grail" of blood-thinning drugs, reduces the risk of a stroke in people with a heart contition called atrial fibrillation (AF). The drug has now been approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence for prescriptions on the NHS in England and Wales. Up to 1.2 million people in Britain have AF, where the heart's chambers fail to beat in rhythm, causing blood to pool and form clots. Eventually a clot can be dislodged by blood and washed along the arteries, before blocking a small blood vessel in the brain, causing a stroke. Boehringer Ingelheim, the drug maker, estimates 5,000 strokes could be prevented annually if people who were given the drug instead of the blood-thinning agent warafin, traditionally used as rat poison. A study of 18,000 people with atrial fibrillation (AF) found that taking 150mg of Pradaxa daily reduced the risk of stroke by between 30 and 39 per cent, caompared to those on warfarin, depending on the type of AF. The twice-daily pill does cost more than warfarin - about £2.50 daily compared to about £1 - and some local health authorities have expressed concern at the high potential cost

No comments: