Regulators in Japan have approved the blood thinner Eliquis, the Japan Daily Times reports.
Eliquis is the brand name for apixaban, manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co and Pfizer Inc. It’s among a new class of blood thinners meant to replace decades-old warfarin, which is effective but can be difficult to use because it requires dietary restrictions and frequent testing.
Pharmaceutical companies have been looking to warfarin alternatives as potentially profitable areas of development, with mixed results.
For example, Boehringer Ingelheim’s Pradaxa has been linked to serious internal bleeding. Pradaxa was the subject of 3,781 adverse effect reports to the FDA last year, including 542 deaths, and surpassed all other monitored drugs in that regard. No antidote is available for Pradaxa-related bleeding emergencies, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is now conducting a safety review of the drug.
Although many industry analysts say Eliquis shows promise, it has yet to be approved in the United States.
But the Japan Daily Times notes that approval in Japan, the second-largest market for prescription drugs after the United States, is an important step.
The report says Eliquis will be used in Japan to treat atrial fibrillation, the most common type of irregular heartbeat, in patients who are at high risk of strokes or blood clots.
You should consult with a doctor if you have any ongoing symptoms or health concerns, and before making any changes in medication. You should also consult with a lawyer if you have injuries connected with Pradaxa.
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