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NICE backs oral DVT treatment

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The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has published final draft guidance recommending rivaroxaban (Xarelto) as a treatment for deep vein thrombosis.

It has also recommeneded it for preventing recurrent DVT and pulmonary embolism in adults diagnosed with acute DVT.

Rivaroxaban is an oral drug that helps to prevent blood from clotting by stopping the Factor Xa enzyme from working.

Duration of treatment with rivaroxaban is based on an assessment of the benefit of anticoagulation compared with the risk of bleeding and usually ranges from three to 12 months.

Publication of the draft recommendation follows receipt of further information from the manufacturer that had been requested by NICE in its previous draft guidance.

Carole Longson, director of NICE’s health technology evaluation centre, said: “For many people, using warfarin is difficult because of the need for regular monitoring with blood tests, dosing adjustments, and the need to be careful about their diet because of warfarin’s interaction with certain foods.

“The [NICE’s] independent appraisal committee was initially unable to recommend rivaroxaban based on the data presented by the manufacturer because it did not adequately demonstrate the drug’s clinical and cost effectiveness in the context of UK clinical practice.

“We are pleased to say that, following the submission of additional information and analysis from the manufacturer during consultation, the committee is able to recommend rivaroxaban as a cost-effective option for treating DVT and preventing recurrent DVT and PE in adults,” Professor Longson added.

The draft NICE guidance is currently with consultees, who have the opportunity to appeal against it. A final guideline will follow this process.

It is estimated that there will be over 46,000 cases of acute DVT in England and Wales during 2012, rising to nearly 50,000 by 2016 due in large part to the aging population.

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