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Health News – NICE approves new drug to prevent blood clots after hip and knee surgery.

NICE approves new drug to prevent blood clots after hip and knee surgery

Last updated 25 November 2011

A new drug called apixaban (brand name Eliquis) has been approved for use on the NHS to prevent life-threatening blood clots in patients undergoing hip and knee replacement surgery.

Joint replacement operations carry a high risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE), which occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins and reaches the lungs (pulmonary embolism).

Apixaban is designed to prevent this from happening by preventing the blood from clotting.

It has now been approved in final draft guidance published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which recommends drugs and treatments for use on the NHS in England and Wales.

Professor Carole Longson, director of the institute’s Health Technology Evaluation Centre, said: ‘We are pleased to have been able to produce final draft guidance on the use of apixaban just six months after it received its license for the prevention of VTE in patients who have undergone planned hip and knee surgery.’

The professor added that the drug was deemed to be both clinically and cost-effective and should be considered alongside other effective treatments to prevent VTE.

NICE has also issued final draft guidance on cetuximab, bevacizumab and panitumumab, which are not recommended for the treatment of metastatic bowel cancer that has progressed despite chemotherapy.ADNFCR-554-ID-801222397-ADNFCR