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New drug to combat stroke launched

Tuesday, February 19, 2013    

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A new anti-clotting drug to combat stroke and venous thromboembolism (VTE) was launched in Jamaica last week Monday.

The drug, Xarelto, is said to be a highly effective, oral anticoagulant developed to prevent and treat dangerous blood clots in a wide range of patients with or at threat of venous or arterial blood clots.

"Xarelto has the potential to improve clinical outcomes and quality of life for a wide range of patients with, or at risk of thromboembolism in a broad range of clinical settings," explains Bayer Healthcare, which markets the drug outside of the United States.

Stroke is among the three most common causes of death in Jamaica — the others being cancer and heart disease.

Along with deep vein thrombosis, blood clots are behind many serious heart conditions and many of the 15 million strokes that occur globally every year.

The prevalence of such diseases has pushed intensive research on anticoagulation over the last decade.

Xarelto is marketed for VTE prevention in adult patients following elective hip or knee-replacement surgery.

"Because 'Xarelto' is highly effective in the prevention and treatment of VTE ,without the difficulties and limitations of traditional treatments like warfarin, patients can be managed more easily. Xarelto, therefore, has the potential to significantly improve the quality of life for a wide range of patients with, or at risk of VTE, as well as in a broad range of other thromboembolic conditions," Bayer Healthcare said.

The clinical trial of Xarelto involved 75,000 patients. It has already been approved by more than 110 countries. The drug is being distributed locally by Cari-Med, Lasco and Medimpex.

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