NICE has recommended the use of Eliquis (apixaban) as a treatment option for the NHS for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in some people with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF) in final guidance.
The recommendation came after NICE’s Appraisal Committee concluded Eliquis was more clinical effective than warfarin in reducing stroke and systemic embolism.
Professor Carole Longson, NICE Health Technology Evaluation Centre Director, said that patients would benefit using the convenient treatment “because it doesn’t require such regular monitoring and dose adjustments.”
Eliquis, which only received its license for this indication in November 2012, is an orally administered anticoagulant that helps prevent the blood from clotting.
AF is the most common irregular heart beat. People with the condition are at a higher risk of developing blood clots and subsequent stroke. Existing therapies, such as warfarin, substantially reduces the risk of stroke.
“Many people with the condition find it difficult to comply with the most commonly used antithrombotic, warfarin, because, among other things, its use requires regular monitoring of the blood’s clotting properties and dose adjustments which can cause disruption and inconvenience,” said Professor Longson.
“From the evidence submitted, the Committee concluded that Eliquis was more clinically effective than warfarin for the primary efficacy outcome of reducing stroke and systemic embolism. The Committee also noted that treatment with Eliquis resulted in fewer bleeding events than warfarin, including a reduced rate of intracranial bleeding. The Committee recognised that intracranial bleeding has a high mortality rate and a large impact on a person’s quality of life, and is the most feared bleeding outcome for people taking any type of anticoagulant.”