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Experimental drug could replace burdensome anti-stroke treatment warfarin

Rating

4 Star

Experimental drug could replace burdensome anti-stroke treatment warfarin

Our Review Summary

Cost information is discussed inadequately, incompletely or not at all in 70% of the stories we review. It is an interesting paradox that this story didn’t provide an estimate of how much consumers will have to pay for the drug, but it did estimate the size of the market for such drugs.  Indeed, we identified the cost of rivaroxaban to consumers in Canada within seconds and wonder why this important consideration was not included in this – or any of the stories we reviewed. The cost of the drug alone needs to be placed in context and comparison to the cost of coumadin and the requisite laboratory testing. The average reader, especially those undergoing treatment with coumadin would likely be more interested in purchase price than in revenue to the manufacturer.

 

Why This Matters

While the story was well done overall, the things that were missing were vital, and could have been addressed with just a few more words.

Criteria

Does the story adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?

Not Satisfactory

It is an interesting paradox that the story didn’t provide an estimate of how much consumers will have to pay for the drug, but it did estimate the size of the market for such drugs.  Indeed, we identified the cost of rivaroxaban to consumers in Canada within seconds and wonder why this important consideration was not included in this – or any of the stories we reviewed. The cost of the drug alone needs to be placed in context and comparison to the cost of coumadin and the requisite laboratory testing. The average reader, especially those undergoing treatment with coumadin would likely be more interested in purchase price than in revenue to the manufacturer.

Does the story adequately quantify the benefits of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Satisfactory

The story presented data from the study reported on that suggests the drug may reduce stroke risk more effectively.  It alluded to some factors complicating the use of coumadin which would be eliminate with rivaroxaban.  The story provided readers with information about atrial fibrillation and why a drug that prevents blood clots from forming is important.

Does the story adequately explain/quantify the harms of the intervention?

Not Satisfactory

There was no discussion of potential harms or side effects from the use of rivaroxaban.

Does the story seem to grasp the quality of the evidence?

Not Satisfactory

The story was about study results that were presented at a recent meeting but have not yet undergone peer review.  The story should have inlcuded at least a line of caution about interpreting results from a talk at a meeting. In addition, the story used only relative risk reduction data rather than absolute risk reduction stats which give readers a better sense of the magnitude of the difference.

Does the story commit disease-mongering?

Satisfactory

The story did not engage in overt disease mongering.

Does the story use independent sources and identify conflicts of interest?

Satisfactory

The story provides comments from three experts in the field unaffiliated with the study or the manufacturer.

Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?

Satisfactory

The story contained information about the current ‘gold standard’ of treatment and indicated that rivaroxaban compared favorably; and that both rivaroxaban and the recently approved Pradaxa would be less complicated for patients to use.

Does the story establish the availability of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Satisfactory

The story was clear that rivaroxaban is not yet approved for use and thus not available in the US.

The statement that ‘analysts predict’ the drug will be approved later this year may be overly optimistic, especially since the results reported on come from a study that has not been subjected to peer review or published in a completed form..

Does the story establish the true novelty of the approach?

Satisfactory

The story explained that rivaroxaban was a medication under study as a substitute for coumadin.  It also mentioned dabigatran (Pradaxa), a recently FDA approved medication that can be used instead of coumadin.

Does the story appear to rely solely or largely on a news release?

Satisfactory

Does not appear to rely on news release.

Total Score: 7 of 10 Satisfactory

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