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Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Pfizer Inc. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.’s blood-thinner apixaban won a final recommendation from the U.K.’s health-cost agency.
The pill, also known by the brand name Eliquis, may be used to prevent blood clots in adults who have undergone hip or knee replacement surgery, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence said in a statement today. The agency, known as NICE, advises the state-run National Health Service on which treatments represent value for money.
Almost 120,000 hip and knee replacements took place in England and in Wales, and those procedures have a high risk of blood-clot formations in deep veins, according to NICE. Apixaban joins Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH’s Pradaxa, Bayer AG and Johnson & Johnson’s Xarelto and the generic medicines heparin and fondaparinux as treatment options for these patients.
“Apixaban has been shown to be a clinically and cost- effective option for preventing blood clots,” Carole Longson, director of NICE’s Health Technology Evaluation Centre, said in the statement.
Apixaban is also being reviewed by NICE as a way to prevent stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation, or erratic heartbeat. The medicine may reach annual sales of $1.4 billion by 2015, according to the average estimate of three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
--Editors: Kristen Hallam, Marthe Fourcade
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