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Brilinta receives FDA approval

WILMINGTON, Del. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug made by AstraZeneca to reduce the rate of heart attacks in patients with acute coronary syndrome, the Anglo-Swedish drug maker said.

AstraZeneca announced the approval of Brilinta (ticagrelor), a blood-thinning drug, on Wednesday. The drug maker is touting the drug as an alternative to Plavix (clopidogrel), made by Sanofi and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

“The FDA approval of Brilinta is good news for patients in the United States and represents a significant milestone as we seek to help ensure ACS patients around the world have access to this innovative medicine,” AstraZeneca CEO David Brennan said. “With [more than] 1 million people affected by ACS in the [United States] each year, the fact that physicians have a new and more effective treatment option than clopidogrel to help reduce the rate of heart attack and cardiovascular death in these patients is an important advance.”

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