#1 Tip to Reduce Your Risk of Blood Clots – Make Sure that You’re Not the Victim of Non-Medication Switching
Doctors are fighting to ensure their stroke patients are getting access to the medications they need, reports FOX13 News in Memphis, Tennessee:
A letter from CVS Caremark sent to a patient shows the company is asking people to switch to the drug Xarelto.
Dr. Alexandrov said this could lead to internal bleeding in some patients.
“Xarelto is a less safe drug than Eliquis because of bleeding. That’s point number one,” he said. “They will likely end up having more strokes, because Xarelto is no better than Warfarin, and that is a step backwards.”
Dr. John Jefferies, the chairman of the cardiovascular institute at Methodist Le Bonheur, said Caremark’s current policy gives patients the impression the two medications are the same, but he said they are very different.
“We think Eliquis is better, and we have the science to prove that,” he said. “People are going to suffer, and this is going to cause more mortality because of the switch that I think is just a poorly informed decision.”
Non-medication switching is a patient safety risk:
CVS Caremark’s decision to exclude Eliquis means that patients who are filling their prescriptions through CVS Caremark will need to transition to Xarelto® or be willing to pay 100% of the cost of Eliquis. This means that CVS Caremark has decided that Xarelto must be used by all such patients requiring a DOAC, even though none of these patients has a physician-patient relationship with CVS Caremark.
If you and your patients have been the victim of non-medication switching, like the one described by the doctors in the FOX13 news story, please let the FTC know.
For more on the CVS Caremark issue, please go to our article, “CVS Caremark Formulary Exclusion of Eliquis is a Patient Safety Risk.”
#2 Tip to Reduce Your Risk of Blood Clots – Protect Yourself Against Getting COVID
A recent study by researchers in Sweden has found that there is an increased risk of developing a serious blood clot for the next six months after getting COVID:
People who have had Covid-19 are more likely to develop a blood clot – particularly patients who have needed hospital treatment. Scientists wanted to find out when that risk returns to normal levels.
The researchers tracked the health of just over one million people who tested positive for Covid between February 2020 and May 2021 in Sweden, and compared them with four million people of the same age and sex who had not had a positive test.
After a Covid infection, they found an increased risk of:
- blood clots in the leg, or deep vein thrombosis (DVT), for up to three months
blood clots in the lungs, or pulmonary embolism, for up to six months
internal bleeding, such as a stroke, for up to two months
To protect yourself, the researchers recommend getting vaccinated:
The risk of a blood clot in the lung in people who were very seriously ill with Covid was 290 times greater than normal, and seven times higher than normal after mild Covid. But there was no raised risk of internal bleeding in mild cases.
“For unvaccinated individuals, that’s a really good reason to get a vaccine – the risk is so much higher than the risk from vaccines,” says Anne-Marie Fors Connolly, principal study investigator from Umea University in Sweden.
If you are hesitant about getting vaccinated against COVID, a recent study published in JAMA Network Open, an American Medical Association, found that “People infected with Covid-19 face a much greater risk of developing potentially dangerous blood clots in the brain than people who get vaccinated against the disease with an mRNA vaccine made by Pfizer or Moderna … underscoring the safety profile and benefits of vaccination despite rare side effects.”