Anti-Stroke Drugs

The Thin Flat Line

blood thinner okapia kg
Prosecutors in Mainz are looking into whether drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim understated the risks of its best-selling blood thinner, Pradaxa.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Prosecutors in Mainz are looking into whether drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim under-reported the risks of its best-selling blood thinner, Pradaxa. The outcome of the probe could influence the viability of a new class of drugs made by Boehringer, Bayer and Pfizer.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • 5.5 million packages of stroke prevention drugs were sold in 2014 in Germany, where 270,000 people suffer a stroke every year.
    • Despite claims that regular doctor visits aren’t needed by those who use their new drug, one of Boehringer’s own researchers found evidence to the contrary in 2011.
    • Stroke prevention medication has been on the market in Germany since 1968, but is always prescribed in conjunction with regular doctor visits.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

The professor is casual and relaxed. It’s the beginning of November 2014 and in mediakademie.de, an online service providing continuing medical education, the class is covering a very serious issue: stroke prevention. The moderator was just asked the question whether the new anticoagulants are “actually really easy to use.”

“Easy as it gets,” the professor said, explaining: “One pill in the morning and one in the evening verifies renal function.” Discontinue the medication before any surgery, and then “begin a day after an operation.” That’s all you need to “switch on and off clotting, so to speak,” he said.

So that viewers understand what this is all about, the man mentions the active ingredient — dabigatran — every now and then. This is the core ingredient of the anticoagulant Pradaxa, a top revenue generator for Mainz-based pharmaceutical maker Boehringer Ingelheim.

Conveniently, the company also operates mediakademie.de.

Want to keep reading?

Subscribe now or log in to read our coverage of Europe’s leading economy.