NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Reducing Blood Clot Risks

March 1, 2001

A new synthetic drug dramatically cuts the risk of blood clots after surgery and could one day replace a blood thinner that has been used for decades, researchers say.

According to the study, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine:

  • Researchers found the experimental drug reduced the risk of clots by as much as 82 percent after hip replacement when compared with the standard treatment, the blood thinner heparin.
  • In the new drug group, 1.7 percent of the patients developed blood clots versus 9.4 percent in the heparin group.
  • A key advantage to the new drug is that it should be less expensive to manufacture than heparin, which costs about $200 a day.

The new drug, known as a synthetic pentasaccharide, targets the key clotting protein in the blood and prevents it from clumping.

Source: Associated Press, "Drug dramatically cuts blood clot risk after surgery," USA, March 1, 2001; Alexander G.G. Turpie et al., "A Synthetic Pentasaccharide for the Prevention of Deep-Vein Thrombosis after Total Hip Replacement," March 1, 2001.

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