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Dabigatran approved by SMC for AF patients

By News team

Dabigatran etexilate has been accepted for use within the NHS in Scotland for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in adults with atrial fibrillation.

In its latest round of appraisals, the Scottish Medicines Consortium approved the drug, which is marketed by Boehringer Ingelheim as Pradaxa, because studies suggest it prevents stroke as well as warfarin does, offers "reasonable value for money" and, since patients do not require blood monitoring, may allow service improvements to be made.

According to the SMC’s calculations, £200 would be saved in INR monitoring costs for every patient switched from warfarin to dabigatran.

Other drugs accepted for use in NHS Scotland are:

• Azacitidine (Vidaza) for those with intermediate and high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome, chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia or acute myeloid leukaemia, who are not eligible for haematopoietic stem cell transplantation

• Tenofovir disoproxil (Viread) for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B in adults with decompensated liver disease

• Golimumab (Simponi) for restricted use at a dose of 50mg, alone or in combination with methotrexate, for the treatment of active and progressive psoriatic arthritis in adult patients with an inadequate response to previous disease-modifying antirheumatic drug therapy

The SMC rejected abatacept (Orencia) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 11084276

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