Access to PRADAX will make a significant contribution to improving the healthcare services offered to Quebeckers and will lighten the burden on the healthcare system.

MONTREAL, April 27 /CNW Telbec/ - The RPCU (Provincial user committee cluster) congratulates the Government of Quebec for its decision to fund a new stroke prevention treatment. Quebec is the very first Canadian province to give access to a drug which helps prevent the most disabling types of stroke. This decision to give access to PRADAXTM will make a significant contribution to improving the healthcare services offered to Quebeckers, as well as improving patient quality of life.

"Given that more than a third of stroke victims end up living with serious functional limitations, and bearing in mind the human and material resources required for monitoring these patients, we can only rejoice about access to a treatment with effectiveness exceeding the effectiveness of the other treatments currently available," said Pierre Blain, Executive Director of RPCU.

In Canada, stroke is the third leading cause of death1, with up to 15% of strokes being caused by atrial fibrillation. After the age of 60, it is estimated that the rate rises to one third of strokes2. Compared with warfarin, PRADAXTM does not require INR monitoring and is associated with a reduced number of visits to healthcare centres, reducing costs and improving the productivity of the healthcare system. The inclusion of PRADAXTM might lighten the burden for healthcare professionals of monitoring oral anticoagulant therapy. The decision reported the considerable potential savings that including PRADAXTM in the Drug List could generate for the Quebec healthcare system.

"An alternative to warfarin had been expected for a long time, both by users of the healthcare network and by professionals. That is a marked improvement in patient quality of life and will make it possible to allocate resources to providing relief for other users of our healthcare system," Mr. Blain concluded.

About the RPCU
The RPCU (Regroupement provincial des Comités des usagers - Provincial user committee cluster) is the spokesperson for user and resident committees in all healthcare and social service institutions in Quebec, whether private, public, regulated or self-funded. It represents the 594 user and resident committees across Quebec so they can participate in major discussions on the same footing as the other associations in the field of health and social services. User and resident committees have the mandate of protecting the rights of users and contributing to improving the services offered. The RPCU is part of the INESSS Partners' Table, representing users.

About atrial fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation or irregular heart rate affects almost 250,000 Canadians and is a serious, but common, heart disorder which can result in a serious, disabling stroke. Canadians with AF are at least five times more likely to suffer a stroke and two times more likely to suffer a fatal stroke. After the age of 55, the rate of AF doubles with every decade of life. Other risk factors for heart disease and stroke include hypertension and diabetes. After the age of 60, a third of all strokes are caused by AF.

PRADAXTM is an oral, reversible director thrombin inhibitor. Its anticoagulant effect works by selectively blocking thrombin activity. Thrombin is the main enzyme participating in blood clot formation3. The status of exception drug has been granted to PRADAXTM (dabigatran etexilate) 110 mg and 150 mg for patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF) requiring anticoagulant therapy who are unable to reach and maintain in the therapeutic range with warfarin or nicoumalone or for whom monitoring coagulation parameters on warfarin or nicoumalone is not possible or not available.  PRADAXTM is the first innovative drug approved in Canada in over 20 years for the prevention of strokes and systemic embolism in people with atrial fibrillation4.

1 Canadian Stroke Network. (Accessed July 5, 2010)

2 Fondation des maladies du cœur du Canada. (Accessed April 20, 2011)

3 Van Ryn J, Hauel, N, Waldmann L. et al.  Dabigatran inhibits both clot-bound and fluid-phase thrombin in vitro: comparison to heparin and hirudin.  2008 ATVB Oral Presentations (P570). Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2008; 28:el36-7

4 PRADAX Product Monograph, October 2010


For further information:

Pierre Blain
Executive Director RPCU
514 436-3744 or


Véronique Beauchamp/Louis-Étienne Beaupré
514 739-1188 extensions 247/236

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