There is evidence that blood thinners may be overly prescribed in some cases. A study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine in 2017 found that the rate of blood thinner prescriptions increased by 50% between 2000 and 2014. This increase was not seen in all age groups and was most pronounced in people over 65.
A few drugs account for a large share of Medicare Part D spending. The number one drug in that category is Elisquis, wit over $12 billion in spending. But is it really needed that much?
A study found that increased blood thinner prescriptions were not associated with decreased risk of stroke or other blood clot-related events. This suggests that some people who do not need blood thinners may not be taking them.
There are several reasons why blood thinners may be overly prescribed.
One reason is that they are very effective at preventing blood clots. Another reason is that they are relatively safe, with few side effects. As a result, doctors may be more likely to prescribe them than other medications that are less effective or have more side effects.
However, it is important to remember that blood thinners also have risks. The most serious risk is bleeding. Other risks include bruising, nosebleeds, and internal bleeding. In some cases, blood thinners can even cause death.
Doctors prescribe blood thinners so much because they are very effective at preventing blood clots. Blood clots can be dangerous, blocking blood flow to vital organs, leading to heart attacks, strokes, and other serious health problems.
So what’s really going on here? It’s a combination of aggressive marketing and preventive medicine practice without evaluating patient needs. BMS and Pfizer have been very aggressive in marketing the drug to doctors. Physicians need to take a step back and determine if a patient really needs the drug.
According to recent study results, many patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) who lack an established risk factor for stroke are prescribed blood thinners despite guidelines recommending against their use in these low-risk patients. The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, reviewed data from 2008 to 2012 on nearly 11,000 patients older than 60.
The research team found that about 25% of patients at the lowest risk for stroke were prescribed oral anticoagulants, contrary to current guideline recommendations. Additionally, the researchers discovered that men with AF were more likely to be prescribed unnecessary blood thinners than women with AF. The study authors noted that their findings indicated that providers may not be fully aware of the risks associated with these drugs, such as an increased bleeding risk or the low risk of stroke among specific populations of AF patients.
Patients need more of an understanding of the risks and benefits of blood thinners and HCPs need to stop overprescribing as a “caution”.