Published On: Tue, Jul 2nd, 2013

Pfizer Drug to Thin Blood as Good as Current Drug

Eliquis is one of a new class of thinners that might replace warfarin, an old therapy of 50 years that needs to be monitored regularly

Eliquis is one of a new class of thinners that might replace warfarin, an old therapy of 50 years that needs to be monitored regularly

July 02, 2013 - Blood thinner Eliquis, sold by Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb is as good as current care in the prevention of blood clots and with less bleeding complications, indicted a current study.

In a recent trial that had 5,400 people, the drug was determined to be equivalent to warfarin, the generic drug, at preventing the formation of new clots and death, in those patients with VTE – venous thromboembolism. In VTE, the large arteries have clots that form inside them, often in the pelvis or legs. Those clots could break off and move into the lungs potentially causing a pulmonary embolism that could be deadly

Eliquis is one of a new class of thinners that might replace warfarin, an old therapy of 50 years that needs to be monitored regularly and makes patients avoid the consumption of certain foods.

Pfizer and Bristol-Myers will use the study’s results to apply for using the drug with regulators for both short and long-term treatments of VTE. The drug has already been approved for preventing strokes in patients who have an irregular heartbeat.

Pfizer and Bristol-Myers, both New York-based, sponsored the recent trial where patients received warfarin or Eliquis for a period of six months after VTE came on suddenly rather than from the expected cause such as childbirth or surgery.

Of those patients taking Eliquis, 2.3% died or suffered another clot, compared to 2.7% receiving warfarin.

The patients taking warfarin also received heparin, which is another thinner of blood that hospitals typically administer during the early portion of treatment.

Eliquis fared better than warfarin for safety, the trial found. In the trial, only 0.6% of Eliquis patients had a case of major bleeding inside the gastro intestinal tract, skull, eye or other organ, compared to over 1.8% of warfarin users.

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