Boehringer Ingelheim's oral anticoagulant Pradaxa will provide a welcome new treatment option for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation following its recommendation by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
This is according to Professor Gregory Lip, consultant cardiologist and professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Birmingham Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences, who described NICE's decision as a "major advance" in treatment.
Final guidance issued by NICE last week backed the dabigatran etexilate therapy as a cost-effective option for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in adult patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation and one or more risk factors, allowing it to be widely used across the UK.
It will aid the many patients who are unable to benefit from warfarin treatment due to its side effects and need for regular monitoring.
"The approval of dabigatran etexilate has the potential to significantly reduce the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation who are eligible for anticoagulation therapy," said Professor Lip.
Pradaxa has now been approved for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation in more than 50 countries.