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Eliquis approved in Scotland

 The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has approved the use of Eliquis (apixaban) for the prevention of venous thromboembolic events (VTE) in adult patients who have undergone replacement surgery.

The acceptance was based on two large Phase III studies which demonstrated that Eliquis was superior to a low molecular weight heparin.

Dr Rick Lones, UK Executive Medical Director, Bristol-Myers Squibb, says the oral treatment “brings an important treatment alternative” to Scottish patients.

More than 14,000 people had hip or knee replacement surgeries in Scotland in 2009. These patients are at a particularly high risk of developing VTE.

In an attempt to reduce the number of patients at risk of developing VTE, the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) recommends a combination of pharmacological and mechanical measures to prevent venous thromboembolic events occurring for patients undergoing orthopaedic surgery.

Eliquis was approved in the European Union in May 2011 and was fast-tracked by NICE for the same indication last month. Dr Lones says the approval by the SMC “confirms the value of apixaban as a cost-effective oral anticoagulant for adult patients who have undergone elective knee or hip replacement surgery”.

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