Monday 22 July, 2019

Bayer and LASCO offer Xarelto adherence as solution to AFib

German multinational, pharmaceutical and life sciences company Bayer, through LASCO Distributors (one of the local distributors for Bayer) are reiterating that adherence to the anticoagulant Xarelto is the solution to atrial fibrillation – “A silent epidemic,” according to Dr Jose Maria Castellanos.

Dr Castellanos, a director of the Cardiovascular Research Department and the Cardiovascular Risk and Health Prevention Program at the Fundación Jiménez Díaz Hospital in Madrid, Spain, who delivered the keynote address at Xarelto’s 10th anniversary dinner at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston recently, spoke to the once daily dosage being a contributing factor to Xarelto’s high success rate.

“Patient adherence is a huge problem for cardiovascular medicine. We are seeing that we have very good treatments that are not being efficacious [effective] because people are not treating it as they should. Xarelto has the adherent advantage because of the once daily dosage and that is, I think, the winner. Just by simplifying the lives of patients who are for the most part elderly or have other illnesses that they require many treatments; and take many many pills a day. So if they take a pill once daily for the blood clots from their atrial fibrillation – that is so much more easier for them,” Castellanos said.

Explaining why Xarelto is also preferred to the previously used generic Warfarin, Dr Castellanos said “...It [Warfarin] is a vitamin K antagonist... Very often what used to happen with Warfarin was that you found several patients suddenly either have way too high Warfarin in their blood, so they were very prone to bleeding; or they had very low, so they were not being protected against blood clots. So looking at it now, it was a very primitive approach to anticoagulant.”

Atrial fibrillation (also called AFib) is a medical condition causing irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) that can lead to blood clots which in turn contribute to instances of stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications. Xarelto is prescribed to prevent blood clots from forming.

Bayer, a 150 year old company has used LASCO as one of its local distributors of Xarelto for the past 5 years. The drug is widely used. In fact, global sales indicate that Xarelto is consumed by 36 million persons worldwide; and Jamaica is a major market – a clear indication that cardiovascular disease is indeed a silent epidemic locally.

According to Dr Carlo Chaverri, Brand Manager for Xarelto, “Jamaica is one of the biggest [markets] and we feel very proud that we have Xarelto here. It is one of the most important countries in all Central America and the Caribbean.

Worldwide, approximately two per cent of the general population is affected by AFib, equating to roughly 140 million. Dr Castellanos also claims that lifetime risks for the development of AFib are one in four men and women 40 years of age and older.

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