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New Drug Cuts Risk of Second Stroke, Heart Attack

Study finds anti-clotting medicine should be used for year after first attack

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 12, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- The anti-clotting medicine clopidogrel reduces the risk of recurrent heart attack and stroke and is cost-effective.

That's the conclusion of an Emory University study presented Nov. 12 at the American Heart Association's annual conference in Orlando, Fla.

"We have three separate investigations showing uniform results in both the short- and long-term use of clopidogrel. Specifically, the use of clopidogrel in addition to aspirin produces a significant risk reduction in recurrent heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular death," Dr. William Weintraub, a researcher at the Emory Center for Outcomes Research, says in a prepared statement.

"The study findings and the cost-effectiveness data suggest that at least one year of therapy with clopidogrel is an attractive value. In fact, we believe it should be the standard of care for this patient population," Weintraub says.

He and his colleagues analyzed the drug's cost-effectiveness in two major clinical studies. They found the cost-effectiveness ratio in one study was $6,173 per life year gained and $5,910 per life year gained in the second study.

In health economics, $50,000 per life year gained is considered an acceptable cost-effectiveness ratio.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about stroke.

SOURCE: Emory University Health Sciences Center, news release, Nov. 12, 2003
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