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Anti-blood clotting drug Eliquis gets NICE nod

Published on 06/03/15 at 08:10am
Eliquis image

Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer’s Eliquis for preventing blood clots has been shown the green light to treat venous thromboembolism (VTE), deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism in adults.

NICE has given Eliquis (apixaban) final draft guidance to treat the conditions on the NHS that can result in long-term illness, including chronic pain, swelling and skin changes in affected limbs.

“Apixaban, like the other newer oral anticoagulants already recommended by NICE for the treatment and secondary prevention of VTE, does not require frequent blood tests to monitor treatment and so represents a potential benefit for many people who have had a VTE,” comments Professor Carole Longson, who is the health technology evaluation centre director at NICE.

The tablet helps to prevent blood from clotting by stopping a substance called Factor Xa – necessary in the formation of thrombin and fibrin, the key components in clot formation – from working.

The length of treatment is based on a person’s risk of having another DVT as well as their risk of bleeding. People who are at high risk of having another blood clot may be given life-long treatment with anticoagulants to prevent further episodes.

Longson continues: “The Committee [NICE] heard that apixaban is the only oral anticoagulant for which the licensed dose is lower for secondary prevention than for initial treatment of VTE. This could also be of potential benefit in terms of reducing the risk of bleeding where treatment is continued and therefore increase the chance that a person would take apixaban long term.”

The chances of developing DVT are increased in certain circumstances including inactivity, being unwell or during pregnancy. If the wall of a blood vessel is damaged it may become narrowed or blocked, which can result in the formation of a clot.

Tom Robinson

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