First novel blood thinner in 50 years for the prevention of strokes caused by common heart rhythm disorder, approved in Europe
Ingelheim, Germany, 4 August 2011 – The European Commission (EC) today approved Boehringer Ingelheim’s oral blood thinner, Pradaxa®
1 (dabigatran etexilate
2), for the prevention of strokes in people with atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common sustained heart rhythm disorder. Millions of AF patients across Europe could now benefit from this new drug being seen as the biggest step forward in blood thinning treatments approved for stroke prevention for over 50 years. The EC has approved the use of dabigatran etexilate in the EU for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in adult patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation with one or more risk factors.
One in four adults over the age of 40 develop AF in their lifetime, resulting in 4.5 million people suffering from AF in Europe. 3,4 AF patients have a five times increased risk of suffering a stroke, resulting in three million people worldwide having AF-related strokes each year. 3-8 Patients with AF have been shown to have a worse quality of life than for example patients who have previously suffered a heart attack, due in part to the constant fear of suffering a stroke. 9