NICE recommends apixaban as a possible treatment to prevent stroke and systemic embolism in some people with atrial fibrillation without underlying heart valve disease (see below).

Who can have apixaban?

You should be able to have apixaban if 1 or more of the following apply:

  • you have had a stroke or transient ischaemic attack (mini stroke) in the past
  • you are 75 or older
  • you have high blood pressure
  • you have diabetes
  • you have heart failure with symptoms.

Why has NICE said this?

NICE looks at how well treatments work, and also at how well they work in relation to how much they cost the NHS. NICE recommended apixaban as a treatment option because it works as well as other treatments available on the NHS. Although it also costs more than some other treatments, this was justified by the benefits it provided.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guidance represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, health professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients. The application of the recommendations in this guidance is at the discretion of health professionals and their individual patients and do not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to provide the funding required to enable the guidance to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients wish to use it, in accordance with the NHS Constitution. They should do so in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities.

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