Boehringer cuts cost of stroke prevention drug

 Boehringer Ingelheim has reduced the UK price of its oral anticoagulant Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate) by 13%, two weeks after receiving NICE recommendation.

While NICE had judged Pradaxa to be cost-effective for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) at £2.52 per day, the new price of £2.20 will increase its appeal to prescribers.

The timing of the price change reflects growing industry awareness that NICE approval is only a step on the way to meeting the value criteria of the NHS.

The final NICE guidance recommended that Pradaxa be considered for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in adult patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF) with one or more risk factors, a potential 900,000 people.

The price drop will help to drive access to the first new oral anticoagulant for stroke prevention in patients with AF in 60 years.

According to a recent BMJ report, drug therapy for stroke prevention in patients with AF is sub-optimal in many cases. Up to 30% receive no treatment, a significant proportion of those treated with warfarin are not well controlled, and treatment with aspirin is not adequate.

There is therefore a large unmet need for effective stroke prevention treatment in these patients, whose risk of stroke may be significantly reduced by Pradaxa.

Duncan Cantor, Boehringer’s Director of Communications, said: “We are committed to working with the NHS to offer the very best value we can. Although NICE deem Pradaxa to be cost effective at £2.52 per day, we believe it is important to make our medicines as affordable as possible in this tough financial climate.

“By lowering the price by 13% to £2.20, the NHS now has every opportunity to make sure this medicine is available to all eligible patients.”