When the new anticoagulant medication Dabigatran was approved recently as an AF stroke prevention treatment, it was quickly picked up for immediate use on patients. However, even with all of this good news, a new study — which was published in the September issue of Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes  is showing that treatment rates haven’t improved as much as was hoped for.

This new study was led by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and specifically looked into the trends taking place in the field of oral anticoagulant use. What they discovered was that even with the fast adoption of Dabigatran, two in every five patients didn’t use the drug at all to treat AF as it was intended. The study also found that the drug is mostly being used for off-label purposes instead of what it was actually approved for. Dabigatran’s off-label use is for the treatment of venous thromboembolism.

“Dabigatran has been briskly adopted into clinical practice since its October 2010 Food and Drug Administration approval for the prevention of stroke among patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation,” said G. Caleb Alexander, MD, MS, lead author of the study and a research scientist in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Epidemiology. “Between 2007 and 2011, use of the oral anticoagulant Warfarin declined from approximately 2.1 million quarterly physician visits to approximately 1.6 million visits while since its release, Dabigatran use increased from 3.1 percent to 18.9 percent of physician visits where an oral anticoagulant was used.”

So while Dabigatran use is up, it is just not being used as it was expected. Older anticoagulants like Warfarin are still the leading drug for stroke prevention in AF patients. One anticoagulant that is not being used is Multaq, made by Sanofi-Aventis. Research has shown that Multaq causes liver failure and a worsening of the heart condition for some patients. Multaq has been recommended for use only should all other medications fail to work.

If you or a loved one has suffered from liver failure or a worsening heart condition after being treated with Multaq, contact the attorneys at Greg Jones today for a free consultation. I am experienced at fighting Multaq lawsuits and may be able to help you recover money for your injuries.