Monday, January 30, 2012

Scattering Tacks In The Road

I might be the only one who finds the irony in this, but, at long last, we have a rapid assay to estimate the activity of the new oral direct thrombin inhibitor, dabigatran.

Just to recap, with coumadin, we can measure PT/INR; for heparin, PTT; and for enoxaparin and its brood, (less rapidly) Factor Xa levels.

Now, we have the HEMOCLOT test.

Created and marketed by Boehringer Ingelheim, the manufacturers of dabigatran. (Edit: sorry!  This is not manufactured by Boehringer - they only published this study.  Boehringer is, however, working on a FAB antibody to dabigitran to use as an antidote, however.)

It's a beautiful piece of business to put a dangerous medication on the market, and then sell the only practical means of monitoring levels.

"Using the HEMOCLOT direct thrombin inhibitor assay to determine plasma concentrations of dabigatran."


  1. I typically find myself agreeing with your analysis of the literature. However, I will take issue with your statement: "I might be the only one who finds the irony in this..."

    Since irony usually results when "actions taken have an effect exactly opposite from what was intended," I would submit that this situation is, actually, not very ironic. It was tragically predictable, as well as emblematic of the medical/marketing industry.

    Now, if the wide-spread use of the assay reveals that the thrombin inhibition is actually just as unpredictable and erratic as INRs are with coumadin, that will be ironic indeed.

  2. Ha! Well. I should edit it to say "I hope everyone finds this tragically predictable" precisely as you say - because, yes, I'm probably preaching to the choir by this point.

  3. Boerhinger is planning on releasing an antidabigatran Fab soon, too... Not just tacks on the road but tire patch kits


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