Healthcare watchdog the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice) has approved a new drug which one study has suggested could reduce the risk of death from a second heart attack by 20 per cent.
Doctors throughout England and Wales were yesterday (June 29th) given the green light to prescribe ticagrelor. According to a study published in 2009, the medication reduces the chance of suffering a second cardiac arrest within a year by 16 per cent.
"Ticagrelor is the latest in an ever increasing number of important new drugs and interventional techniques that have been shown to reduce deaths in patients with [acute coronary syndromes]," said Nice health technology evaluation centre director Dr Carole Longson.
Manufactured by AstraZeneca, the treatment works by maintaining cardiac blood flow and stopping new blood clots from forming.
Patients tend to take the drug for a period of up to one year.
Last week, Nice called on the NHS to improve access to surgery for people with hip fractures, with some currently having to wait for up to a week before operations.