New blood drug welcomed

A pill that could prevent thousands of deaths from blood clots every year has become available in the UK. Pradaxa has been licensed for patients who have had a hip or knee replaced, which increases their risk of suffering a blood clot for around six weeks after the operation.
It is the first oral anticoagualant in the UK for 50 years since the introduction of Warfarin, which needs to be monitored to make sure it does not thin the blood too much.

Praxada does not need such checks and trials show it is just as effective as Heparin, which is given by injection.
Every year, blood clots kill around 25,000 men and women in hospitals across England.
Judy O'Sullivan, cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: "A safe and effective anti-clotting medicine which does not require regular monitoring will provide a significant step forward in improving care for patients at high risk of developing a blood clot.

"We look forward to seeing how Pradaxa may benefit patients who have had orthopaedic surgery, and hope that it will prove to be useful for a wider group of patients."

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