Government stands by dabigatran decision delay

Health Minister Nicola Roxon defended the government’s decision to review all anticoagulants after dabigatran (Pradaxa) manufacturers Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) launched a campaign last week urging health professionals to petition the government to subsidise dabigatran’s AF indication.

“We are determined to complete the review to make sure every health dollar is used in the most effective way, especially given the particularly high cost of this drug,” Ms Roxon said.

The review was initiated after the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) advised the government that the clinical trial benefits of dabigatran might not be reflected in the Australian population.

Stroke expert Professor Geoffrey Donnan, director of the Florey Neuroscience Institutes, said the argument failed to recognise how difficult it was to manage warfarin in the real world.

“[It] ignores the increased risk of intracranial bleeding