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Blood clot treatment gets UK launch


A convenient oral treatment patients can take at home to prevent venous thromboembolic events (VTE) following elective total hip or knee replacement surgery is now available in the UK.

Eliquis (apixaban) has been launched through a collaboration between Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer and could help prevent up to 25,000 deaths each year resulting from blood clots.

Dr Ander Cohen, Honorary Consultant Vascular Physician at King’s College Hospital, London, says the treatment “represents a new option” for surgeons in the UK.

VTE can lead to two serious conditions: deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism which can lead to death if not treated.

The license of Eliquis is based on the ADVANCE-2 and ADVANCE-3 clinical trials in patients who underwent elective total hip or knee replacements. More than 8,000 patients were assessed during the trials which assessed the efficacy in preventing blood clots and death, and bleeding risk of Eliquis when compared to enoxaparin.

“Clinical data showed that apixaban was more effective than the anticoagulant enoxaparin and importantly, it also showed no increase in bleeding rates compared to enoxaparin,” said Dr Cohen.

Dr Rick Lones, UK Executive Medical Director, BMS, said the two companies “hope to reduce the burden of blood clots” in patients undergoing major surgery after the drug’s release in the UK.

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