An experimental pill to prevent blood clots exceeded already high expectations as a better therapy for millions of people with atrial fibrillation, according to final results of a worldwide study released Sunday.
The study was featured at the European Society of Cardiology in Paris and simultaneously published on the Web site of The New England Journal of Medicine.
“It’s a remarkable achievement,” said Dr. Valentin Fuster, a past president of American and world heart associations, who was not involved with the trial. “This is one of the most significant advances in cardiovascular medicine in the last five years, no question,” Dr. Fuster, chairman of federal and medical panels on atrial fibrillation and director of the heart center at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, said in an interview.
The twice-daily pill, to be called Eliquis, prevented 21 percent more strokes than the blood thinner warfarin, a standard treatment for heart arrhythmia, and resulted in 31 percent fewer incidents of major bleeding over an average of 1.8 years in the study.