$20 million grant to fund safety evaluation of new blood thinners

October 12, 2016

Dr. Lana Castellucci and her American colleagues Drs. Tom Ortel and David Garcia have been awarded US$14.8 million ($20 million Canadian) by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to test the safety and effectiveness of three blood thinners in a head-to-head trial. Patients who develop a potentially dangerous blood clot in their legs with no obvious cause need to take one of these medications for the rest of their lives to prevent more clots from forming. Most patients are prescribed warfarin, which costs pennies a day. However, patients on this drug need to have regular blood tests and watch for interactions with food and other medications. New drugs called rivaroxaban and apixaban reduce these problems and may have a lower risk of bleeding, but cost over $100 a month. The 60-centre clinical trial will definitively prove whether these new drugs are as safe or as effective as warfarin.

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Amelia Buchanan
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