News | April 29, 2013

Simple Home Test Can Halve the Risk of Stroke for Patients on Warfarin

UK Blood Clots Teststing Wafarin Self Monitoring

April 29, 2013 — A simple self-monitoring test could reduce the risk of stroke by half in thousands of people in the United Kingdom who currently take warfarin to prevent blood clots. Better access to self-monitoring of international normalized ratio (INR) levels, which measures how long it takes blood to form a clot, could also lower mortality rates by nearly two fifths,[1] reduce the number of complications and has the potential to save the U.K. National Health Service (NHS) around £62 million a year,[2] a group of members of  parliament (MPs), patients and charities stated this week.

Speaking in Parliament, Virendra Sharma, MP and member of the Health Select Committee, said that many patients who take the anticoagulant warfarin were not benefitting from self-monitoring through either a lack of awareness or issues around access. He stated that "There are more than 1.2 million people in the U.K. on warfarin[3,4] but fewer than 2 percent of them benefit from self-monitoring."[5]

He went on to say: "If more patients are able to choose to self-monitor, it would improve the quality of their care and create savings for the NHS. We need to see more opportunities for people to discuss the option of self-monitoring with their GP. So today we are encouraging patients and their families to write to their local MPs asking for self-monitoring technology to be made available on NHS prescription and to register their support for the ACSMA campaign"

Warfarin is used to reduce the risk of blood clots in conditions such as atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and in people with mechanical heart valves.

This week at the House of Commons, the AntiCoagulation Self-Monitoring Alliance (ACSMA) launched a new campaign to increase patient access via prescription to self-monitoring technology for those on longterm warfarin treatment. ACSMA comprises four of the U.K.'s leading charities and patient groups — AntiCoagulation Europe (ACE); the Children's Heart Federation; the Atrial Fibrillation Association (AF Association) and; the For Mechanical Heart Valve Support Group. Healthcare company Roche is also part of the alliance.


1. Heneghan C, et al. "Self-monitoring of oral anticoagulation: a systematic review and meta-analysis." Lancet 2006; 367(9508): 404-11.

2. Connock M, Stevens C, Fry-Smith A, Jowett S, Fitzmaurice D, Moore D, et al. "Clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of different models of managing long-term oral anticoagulation therapy: a systematic review and economic modelling [online]." Health Technol. Assess. 2007 Oct; 11(38): iii-iv, ix-66.

3. Gardiner, et al. "Patient self-testing is a reliable and acceptable alternative to laboratory monitoring." Br J Haem 2004; 128: 242-47.

4. Office for National Statistics 2008. Accessed 16 June 2011.

5. Data on file

Related Content

Humanetics Presents Data on Drug to Protect Cardiac Cells From Space-Like Radiation

Photo from NASA

News | Pharmaceuticals | February 01, 2018
February 1, 2018 –Humanetics Corporation (Humanetics) has recently completed two research studies funded by the Natio
Xarelto Significantly Reduces Major Cardioavascular Events in Stable CAD and PAD Patients
News | Pharmaceuticals | October 18, 2017
October 18, 2017 — Results from the pivotal Phase 3 COMPASS study found that the...
News | Pharmaceuticals | October 04, 2017
October 4, 2017 — MyoKardia Inc.
News | Pharmaceuticals | September 12, 2017
September 12, 2017 — Inclisiran lowers low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol for up to one year in pati
Merck Announces Results of REVEAL Outcomes Study of Anacetrapib
News | Pharmaceuticals | September 11, 2017
Merck and researchers in the Clinical Trial Service Unit at the University of Oxford announced the publication and...
Statins Associated With Improved Heart Structure and Function
News | Pharmaceuticals | May 26, 2017
Statins are associated with improved heart structure and function, according to research presented at EuroCMR 2017, May...
Feature | Pharmaceuticals | May 16, 2017
May 16, 2017 – Results of a groundbreaking clinical trial demonstrate the effectiveness of a novel, fast-acting nasal
Prescribing Patterns Change Following Direct Marketing Restrictions
News | Pharmaceuticals | May 05, 2017
A study of how policies restricting pharmaceutical promotion to physicians affect medication prescribing found...
EBBINGHAUS study, evolocumab, repatha, statin therapy, cognitive issues, ACC.17 study
News | Pharmaceuticals | April 03, 2017
There is no evidence that adding a new cholesterol-lowering drug to treatment with a statin causes memory loss or other...
synthetic HDL-C injection, cholesterol, arterial plaque, heart attack patients, CARAT trial, ACC.17, clinical study
News | Pharmaceuticals | March 29, 2017
Injection of a novel form of synthetic high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), or good cholesterol, into the...
Overlay Init