Eli Lilly and Co. has launched its new blood thinner prasugrel in its first market, the United Kingdom, Reuters reported today.
The drug, sold under the brand name Efient, is priced 31-percent higher than its rival Plavix, the world’s leading blood thinner. Plavix, sold by New York-based Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and French company Sanofi Aventis SA, racks up $8.5 billion in annual sales.
Indianapolis-based Lilly developed prasugrel in partnership with Japanese company Daiichi Sankyo & Co.
Although they have won approval for prasugrel in Europe, the companies are still waiting for a ruling on the drug by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before they can sell it in the United States.
Prasugrel initially will be used, in combination with aspirin, to treat patients who are having their arteries propped open and have already been diagnosed with various heart conditions.
In a large clinical trial, prasugrel prevented more heart attacks and strokes than Plavix, but it also caused serious bleeding in more patients.