Better, cheaper, more convenient

Better, cheaper, more convenient

People who take Coumadin (warfarin) have to have their blood tested and medication adjusted regularly. Too high a does can kill, too low a dose doesn’t work, and there’s limited room for error. Typically patients go to the Coumadin clinic every few weeks, have their blood drawn and their meds adjusted. But a new study confirms earlier evidence that home testing can be a superior alternative.

Patients who test at home test more often, which helps them keep their INRs in range through more frequent dosage adjustments. It’s more convenient and cheaper, too.

See Cost-effectiveness of self-managed versus physician-managed oral anticoagulation therapy in CMAJ.

June 20, 2006

One thought on “Better, cheaper, more convenient”

  1. Oh coumadin, what a drug. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. Managing coumadin can be a very difficult proposition, for both patients and doctors/providers. There are few other medicines that are so commonly prescribed that have such a narrow therapeutic window and such a high risk profile. Many clinics have used a pharmacist or nurse driven model to manage their coumadin patients – it is nice to see that home management may become an option for some patients. Of course, many patients will not be successful at home management – I suspect the challenge will be to select the patients for whom this approach is appropriate. The consequences of poor patient selection could be severe (ie., death from bleeding complications).

    Anyone who finally creates a safe, oral alternative to coumadin (that does not require intensive monitoring!) will make a fortune.

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