A local physician told me in a deposition once, that he hates having to prescribe coumadin. When I asked why, he explained it was such a difficult drug to manage and required so much attention. Well, I know what he means. Coumadin, a blood thinner, is generally given post op to prevent blood clots – but amount, and frequently, depend on the patient. Blood tests should be done weekly, and physicians must adjust dosage based on PT/INR levels. Is it a burden? The doctor I deposed thought so, and I imagine the blood tests aren’t fun for patients either.
With 300,000 people dying a year from blood clots, it is clearly an area where good medication would be welcome. So what is the breaking news? Three possible coumadin replacements are currently in last stage testing before FDA approval. While I am often skeptical of the FDA and the approval practice, it will be interesting to see how the future of blood thinners will affect most patients.