A new deal that will see the NHS “dramatically scale up” the use of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) could prevent 5,000 deaths over the next three years, NHS England & Improvement has claimed.

NHSE&I announced on Tuesday November 16 that its new framework agreement with manufacturers would make DOACs more affordable, allowing 610,000 more patients to access them over the next three years.

This could prevent 21,700 strokes and 5,400 deaths, said the health service.

The agreement came after NICE recommended that DOACs are more effective at preventing strokes related to atrial fibrillation than other anticoagulants.

NHSE&I then began a national procurement deal with the aim of making it more affordable to expand patient access to DOACs.

NHSE&I chief Amanda Pritchard said: “The agreements struck by NHS England will save thousands of lives and prevent many more people suffering the debilitating effects of strokes by making this treatment available to hundreds of thousands more patients.

“The health service now has a proven track record of striking deals with manufacturers to ensure patients in England get cutting-edge care at a price which offers best value for taxpayers.

“As we continue to emerge from the pandemic, tackle the backlogs of care which have been created and maintain momentum in the NHS Covid vaccination programme, we are also determined to keep delivering more innovation and greater efficiency in patients’ care.”  

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