Good drugs are very expensive in price.
More expensive medicines are always better? This was decided by Canadian researchers, who’s object
of study was a drug developed by Bayer. This is rivaroxabane, which is sold under the trade name
Xarelto. The drug is intended to prevent the formation of blood clots. Thromboembolism is a serious
postoperative complication that can be fatal.
The experiment involved patients who underwent surgery to completely replace the knee or hip joints.
One group of patients took Xarelto, and another – aspirin, which also prevents the formation of blood
clots. A monthly course of rivaroxaban is 400 times more expensive than aspirin therapy.
The patients who participated in the experiment were divided into two groups. For five days after
endoprosthetics, patients took Xarelto, and after that, one group continued this therapy, and the other
to patients who had undergone replacement of the knee joint for 14 days, and those who underwent a
replacement of the hip joint for 35 days.
Thromboembolism developed in less than 1% of patients: this indicator was recorded both among those
who took Xarelto and among patients treated with aspirin. Each group included more than 1,700
patients. Bleeding in both groups was recorded with approximately the same frequency: 1.3% of
patients taking aspirin and 1% of patients taking Xarelto.
David Anderson and his colleagues at Dalhousie University explain that aspirin was just as effective and
safe as much more expensive Xarelto. This means that treatment of patients who need knee or hip joint
arthroplasty can be cheaper. However, experts note that aspirin may not be as effective when
prescribing to patients who are at high risk of blood clots, for example, those who suffer from morbid
obesity or have suffered cancer. They also note that one of the patients who took aspirin died due to a
blood clot in the lungs – this happened on day 17 after the end of aspirin therapy.
All this means that more extensive and long-term observations are needed, which would confirm that
aspirin therapy is really not fraught with serious risks for patients undergoing endoprosthetics.