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Medco Research Institute Study Shows Some Patients Discontinue New Anticoagulant Drug Early, Which May Increase Stroke Risk
Date:11/14/2011

ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Patients using Pradaxa (dabigatran), a new blood thinner aimed at preventing stroke and blood clots, failed to remain on the treatment 17 percent of the time after the first four months, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions.

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The research conducted by Medco Research Institute™, a subsidiary of Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS), is the first real-world study to examine dabigatran's use since its introduction last year.  Dabigatran is an alternative to the popular blood-thinner warfarin, a drug dating to the 1950s and sold under the brand names Coumadin® and Jantoven®.  Warfarin can be difficult to dose properly and patients need to be monitored closely to prevent bleeds or blood clots.  The study showed that warfarin therapy was prescribed in 71 percent of patients during the prior 6 months to starting dabigatran treatment, suggesting that prescribers are adopting dabigatran as an alternative to warfarin.

"Dabigatran is indicated to prevent serious health conditions such as stroke and systemic embolism in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, so we wanted to examine how people are using the medication, and more importantly, if patients are staying on this vital therapy," said Dr. Eric Stanek, vice president of research at Medco.  "We are seeing a sizable proportion of patients drop off treatment in a fairly short time.  This is a twice-daily drug and stroke prevention outcomes may be particularly sensitive to how consistently patients take it, pointing to a need and opportunity to provide dedicated and proactive patient support."

"We have begun to engage patients with
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SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
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