UK Under Pressure to Allow Heart Drug on NHS

26 January 2010 (Last Updated January 26th, 2010 18:30)

The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK is being pressured to accept a heart drug that could cost £2 a day onto its list for the treatment of atrial fibrillation. About 6,000 people in Britain are affected by an abnormal heartbeat. Dronedarone is the first new drug that has be

The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK is being pressured to accept a heart drug that could cost £2 a day onto its list for the treatment of atrial fibrillation.

About 6,000 people in Britain are affected by an abnormal heartbeat.

Dronedarone is the first new drug that has been released for 25 years designed to treat the condition, but the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which approves UK drugs, turned it down.

It said the drug was not as efficient and almost twice as expensive as some other treatments.

Some treatments cost just £2 a month, according to NICE.

Patient organisations, however, have said that many of these drugs are out of patent, and that the costs for treatment far outweighed those impacting the health service for the treatment of stroke.

It is estimated that 16,000 patients with the condition have a stroke each year.