Washington, Apr 21 : A new pill launched in the UK could help save the lives of thousands of people from dying of blood clots.
Pradaxa, made by German firm Boehringer Ingelheim, has been licensed for those patients who have had a hip or knee replaced through surgery. Such replacements make people more prone to suffer a blood clot for around six weeks after the operation.
After the introduction of warfarin 50 years back, pradaxa is the first new oral pill anti-coagulant (blood thinner) in the UK. And it has an edge over its older counterpart as it does not require any check like warfarin, which had to be monitored for ensuring that it does not thin the blood too much.
Its trials have revealed that Pradaxa is equally effective as Heparin, which is given by injection.
The regulating body for drugs, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), is still thinking over the widespread use of Pradaxa, but doctors will prescribe it in the meantime at their discretion.
"The prevention of blood clots with blood thinners after surgery is not done well in the UK. One of the problems is that current blood thinners can only be given as an injection. We therefore very much welcome the arrival of a tablet for adults undergoing hip and knee surgery," The Daily Express quoted Dr Beverley Hunt, medical director of the thrombosis charity Lifeblood, as saying.
He added: "The need for and potential impact of a generally well-tolerated oral anticoagulant that does not require monitoring, is profound."