Tuesday, November 20, 2012

'Safe and effective...so few patients get it'

This blog author wrote an entire book about a clot-busting drug for stroke patients - tPA for Stroke: The Story of a Controversial Drug - and still finds people are still having a hard to avoiding a fate worse than death (not so easy):
Although appropriate for almost 9 in 10 strokes — those that are ischemic, or due to blood clots — only a small fraction of potentially eligible patients, not more than about 4-8%, receive tPA. Consider this:
It’s safe and effective…so few patients get it. As a drug for a major and life-threatening disorder, tPA was shown to be effective with a 11-13% absolute benefit (cancer drugs that provide a 2% absolute benefit are routinely approved).
I've harped on this before - it's critical to get help for someone right away. Every minute counts. But even when someone is at a hospital on time, it's important to be an advocate for that person to get the right help.

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