AstraZeneca Brilinta:  Excellent in Preventing Heart Attack and Stroke but Escalates Bleeding Risk, Study

Brilinta, a blood thinner, could help prevent heart attacks and strokes, but can raise the risk of bleeding, according to a recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

According to AstraZeneca, it’s manufacturer,  Brilinta has been available in the market for a couple of years.

Long-term use of the prescription drug can lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes by 16% in patients who have already experienced their initial events, as per a new clinical study.  However, these improvements are accompanied by an increased risk of bleeding, the study revealed.

“There will be more bleeding, however I think the benefit for patients in terms of reducing their risk of dying or having another heart attack or stroke exceeds that,” Marc Sabatine, a trial analyst from Brigham and Women’s Hospital said.

The research showed that for every 10,000 people who use the drug, 42 heart attacks or strokes would be avoided, although 31 major bleeding events would occur.

Aspirin is the drug of choice for several patients who have experienced heart attacks or strokes over 12 months in the past. About 9.04% of patients taking aspirin alone experienced strokes or heart attacks, yet that number dropped to 7.77% among those taking the analgesic plus a 60 mg dose of Brilinta, the study reveals.

But increasing the dose of Brilinta to 90 mg resulted in slight reduction of its efficiency. Though, major bleeding events arise significantly, from 1.06% of individuals taking aspirin alone to 2.3% for Brilinta users, an increase in risk of 217%.

In 2014, AstraZeneca was the target of a takeover attempt by another pharmaceutical firm, Pfizer.   Around then, management referred to potential sales of $3.5 billion a year. Numerous financial onlookers predict the pharmaceutical firm will probably sell $1.5 billion of the drug annually by the year 2020. In 2014, AstraZeneca sold $476 million of the drug.

AstraZeneca has applied for permission to sell Brilinta to patients as a long-term treatment, referring to its effectiveness over the last 3 years.

Plavix , another blood thinner, is available in the market for patients looking to prevent future heart attacks and strokes, has recently been made available as a generic form of clopidogrel bisulfate. Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly’s  Effient,is a forerunner  in the market against Brilinta, as does Sanofi. Experts believe that this new study will likely boost sales of the drug.



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