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NICE rejects new AF drug treatment


A potential new treatment for patients suffering from atrial fibrilation (AF) has been rejected for use on the NHS over concerns that it is more costly and less effective than other existing treatments.

Dronedarone, also known as Multaq, was proposed by Sanofi-aventis as a future treatment for the condition, which causes disturbances in heart rhythm.

However, following test research by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), it was decided that the benefits of the drug did not outweigh the cost, particularly when compared with other treatments currently in use.

Manufacturer Sanofi-aventis expressed disappointment at the decision but said it would continue to work towards making Multaq available to atrial fibrilation sufferers.

NICE’s chief executive Andrew Dillon said: “We need to be sure that any treatment we recommend offers real additional benefits for patients and we need to be confident that those benefits justify the cost to the NHS.

“In this case, dronedarone costs more, and has not been shown to be more effective than other treatments for AF.” NICE’s draft recommendation is open to consultation until January 28.

Copyright © Press Association 2009


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