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NICE recommends BMS-Pfizer’s Eliquis to prevent stroke

Joins Xarelto and Pradaxa anticoagulants as potential warfarin replacement

NICE

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recommended Eliquis for NHS use to prevent stroke.

The agency issued final guidance stating that Eliquis (apixaban), which is marketed by Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb, was a cost-effective use of resources for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in some people with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF).

However, Eliquis should only be an option once patients have had an informed discussion about the risks and benefits of the drug compared with other anticoagulants warfarin, Boehringer Ingelheim's Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate) and Bayer's Xarelto rivaroxaban.

Eliquis, Pradaxa and Xarelto are part of a new generation of anticoagulants battling it out to replace warfarin as a safer and simpler blood-thinner option, with Boehringer and Bayer having already received NICE recommendations for their products.

The recommendation for Eliquis comes the same month the drug was approved by the Scottish Medicines Consortium – the NICE equivalent in Scotland.

As per its marketing authorisation, Eliquis is only available in the UK for non-valvular AF patients with one or more risk factors.

These include prior stroke or transient ischaemic attack, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, symptomatic heart failure or if the person is aged 75 or over.

Professor Carole Longson, NICE Health Technology Evaluation Centre director, commented on the rise of new anticoagulants and the benefits they have for patients.

"The Appraisal Committee heard from patient experts that warfarin can have a greater impact on a person's quality of life than atrial fibrillation itself," she said.

"Apixaban, like rivaroxaban and dabigatran etexilate, which NICE recently approved as options for this indication, has potential benefits for people with AF in these circumstances because it doesn't require such regular monitoring and dose adjustments."

27th February 2013

From: Sales, Healthcare

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