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NICE recommends avatrombopag to treat thrombocytopenia in chronic liver disease

Published on 04/03/20 at 10:15am

UK drug watchdog NICE has announced its final draft guidance recommending avatrombopag for routine use on the NHS in England and Wales for the treatment of thrombocytopenia in chronic liver disease patients who require surgery.

Avatrombopag has been shown to elevate platelet levels for longer periods than platelet transfusions. The recommendation provides patients with a new treatment option which can be self-administered at home, reducing the time they will need to spend in hospital.

The therapy has two list prices: for a five-day course of treatment, it costs £640 for patients with between 40,000 and 50,000 platelets per microlitre of blood, and £960 for those with less than 40,000 per microlitre.

It is estimated that around 10% of patients with chronic liver disease will need surgery in in their final two years of life.

Thrombocytopenia, or low platelet count, is the most common haematological abnormality in liver disease, which itself is on track to become the biggest cause of death in patients under the age of 65, with around 62,000 deaths a year in this age group.

Matt Fellows

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