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Clot-Busting Therapy Under Review
Date:9/28/2009

lable in the United States in a year or two. That would decrease the cost of clopidogrel therapy from the current $4 a day to $1 a day.

But another study presented at the meeting found that the overall cost of using prasugrel was about the same as that of generic clopidogrel, because the newer drug, although more expensive, reduced hospitalizations for bleeding.

"There was a 38 percent reduction in hospitalizations," Cannon said. "When you add up all the costs, you end up saving money."

Another issue about Plavix is how long its use should be continued in lower-dose form. A general practice is to continue therapy for about a year, but a recently reported study found that for people taking Plavix who required bypass surgery, stopping the medication five days before surgery reduced the incidence of excess bleeding and the length of hospitalization.

More information

An introduction to antiplatelet agents is offered by the American Heart Association.



SOURCES: Daniel I. Simon, M.D., professor, cardiovascular research, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland; Christopher Cannon, M.D., attending cardiologist, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston; Sept. 28, 2009, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, online; Sept. 21-25, 2009, presentation, Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics conference, San Francisco


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