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NICE approves new oral anti-coagulant

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NICE has recommended dabigatran etexilate (Pradaxa) as an option for the primary prevention of venous thrombembolic events in adults who have undergone elective total hip or total knee replacement surgery.
The drug was approved by the European Medicines Agency in March 2008 and is already available in Scotland following approval by the Scottish Medicines Consortium.

It is one of the new class of drugs to tackle VTE called direct thrombin inhibitors, which prevents thrombus formation by specifically and selectively inhibiting thrombin – the final and essential enzyme in the coagulation cascade that enables conversion of fibrinogen into fibrin.
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