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NICE yes for Xarelto to treat blood clots

Published on 25/07/12 at 08:30am
Xarelto image

NICE is recommending Bayer’s Xarelto (rivaroxaban) for the treatment and prevention of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

The watchdog said in its final guidance that Xarelto is now an option for treating deep vein thrombosis and preventing recurrent deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism in adults diagnosed with acute DVT.

NICE was originally minded not to recommend the pill in previous draft guidance, saying that it needed more long-term efficacy data for the treatment.

But Bayer duly gave the evidence NICE required, leading to today’s positive opinion. 

Professor Carole Longson, NICE health technology evaluation centre director, said: “For many people, using [established generic DVT drug] warfarin is difficult because of the need for regular monitoring with blood tests, dosing adjustments, and the need to be careful about their diet because of warfarin’s interaction with certain foods.

“Because rivaroxaban does not require frequent blood tests to monitor treatment it represents a potential benefit for many people who have had DVT, particularly those who have risk factors for recurrence of VTE and who therefore need longer-term treatment.

“We are pleased, therefore, to be able to recommend rivaroxaban as a cost effective option for treating DVT and preventing recurrent VTE in adults.”

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is the term used to describe a condition in which a blood clot (a thrombus) forms in a vein and then dislodges to travel in the blood. A venous clot most commonly occurs in the deep veins of the legs or pelvis - this is called DVT.

Current treatments for VTE include initiation with injectable anticoagulants such as low-molecular-weight heparin or fondaparinux sodium, or most commonly warfarin.

Xarelto is already NICE-approved to prevent strokes in patients with atrial fibrillation, and to help reduce the risk of blood clots in patients who have had knee or hip surgery.

Bayer’s drug is in competition with Pfizer/BMS’ Eliquis and Boehringer’s Pradaxa, both of which are looking to take the biggest share of the new oral anticoagulant market.

Ben Adams

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