Ticagrelor drug hopes to prevent one in five deaths caused due to a heart attack. Robert Storey, Professor of Cardiology at the University of Sheffield's Department of Cardiovascular Science has found that ticagrelor is more effective in reducing deaths and recurrent heart attacks than clopidogrel. Many people are dying avoidably in the year after having a heart attack due to delays introducing this new treatment. These new findings provide yet further evidence in support of making the drug available to patients in the UK," said Storey.
A new analysis of the PLATO study, a trial of over 18 thousand patients in over 40 countries around the world showed that ticagrelor is just as effective at reducing deaths in patients over the age of 75 as in younger patients.
A sub-study of the PLATO trial has also confirmed that patients treated with clopidogrel, who have a genetic variant, have a slightly higher risk in the first month following a heart attack.
However, ticagrelor is not affected by this variant and is still more effective than clopidogrel, regardless of a patient's genetic make-up.
The cost factor has prevented ticagrelor from being widely used across the UK, where it was introduced in 2010. Clopidogrel costs very less as it is available in generic forms, whereas ticagrelor is more expensive at around 55 pounds per month.
The findings have been presented at the British Cardiovascular Society annual scientific conference in Manchester.