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SMC approves Eliquis, restricts use of Rienso

Pfizer-BMS' anticoagulant backed but Takeda's drug given second-line recommendation

Pfizer BMS Eliquis apixaban atrial fibrilation

Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb's Eliquis

The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has accepted Eliquis, Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb's anticoagulant, and backed the restricted use of Takeda's anaemia drug Rienso within NHS Scotland.

Eliquis (apixaban) was recommended by the health technology assessment (HTA) body for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in adult patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF).

To qualify patients must also have one or more risk factors, such as prior stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA), be aged 75 or over, hypertension diabetes mellitus or symptomatic heart failure.

The SMC concluded Eliquis was superior to warfarin at preventing stroke or systemic embolism and was associated with a significant reduction in the risk of major bleeding in people with non-valvular atrial fibrillation.

Amadou Diarra, BMS' VP and general manager for the UK and Ireland, said: “The SMC's acceptance confirms the value of apixaban as a clinically and cost-effective oral anticoagulant for the prevention of stroke in patients affected by non-valvular atrial fibrillation.

“The risk of stroke in these patients is a serious public health concern and through this new treatment option, the Alliance of Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb remains committed to helping reduce the incidence of stroke in patients living with non-valvular AF.”

The SMC's decision follows a positive final appraisal determination (FAD) from NICE for Eliquis in the same indication, which in the absence of any challenges is expected to become final guidance later this year.

Meanwhile the SMC's latest round of decisions also saw it back the restricted use of Takeda's treatment for iron deficiency anaemia in chronic kidney disease (CKD) Rienso (ferumoxytol).

The drug can be used to treat iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) in non-haemodialysis dependent adult patients with CKD, but only when oral iron preparations are ineffective or cannot be used.

Yasuhiro Fukutomi, managing director of Takeda UK, said: "Takeda are committed to improving the lives of patients worldwide, particularly in CKD, a profoundly debilitating condition for the patients who suffer from it.

“Acceptance of Rienso by the SMC marks an important milestone in providing physicians with a valuable alternative in the management of CKD patients with IDA in Scotland."

12th February 2013

From: Sales, Regulatory, Healthcare

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