Heart attack patients could benefit from a new clot-busting drug which has been shown to reduce the risk of death.
NICE has backed the use of ticagrelor (Brilique) on the NHS, issuing guidance which recommends it be used with aspirin for people who have been admitted after a heart attack or an episode of unstable angina.
The drug, which costs £54.60 for a pack of 56 tablets, works by stopping the formation of new blood clots and maintaining blood flow to the heart - and could benefit more than 180,000 people a year.
When compared with another commonly-used treatment, clopidogrel, research showed that the drug cuts the risk of dying by more than a fifth (21%), and of patients suffering another heart attack by 16% in the following year.
Dr Carole Longson, NICE health technology evaluation centre director, said: “Ticagrelor is the latest in an ever-increasing number of important new drugs and interventional techniques that have been shown to reduce deaths in patients with acute coronary syndromes.”