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Clinical Articles, Lead Article

CALL FOR MORE WARFARIN SELF-MONITORING

New research1 by the Atrial Fibrillation Association (AFA), AntiCoagulation Europe (ACE), sponsored by Roche, reveals more than nine out of 10 patients – 94% – on warfarin want to be more involved or consulted in their care decisions; plus more than half of those not using a monitor did not know self-monitoring exists. Currently less than 2%2 of patients in the UK benefit from self-monitoring, despite the fact that it has been shown to cut the risk of death by nearly two-fifths (39%) and more than halve the risk of strokes3 (55%).

Steve Davidson, Chairman of the Clinical Leaders of Thrombosis (CLOT) said: “Self-testing is a win-win situation for the patient, the healthcare professional, and the NHS.  Self-testing has been shown to improve compliance and outcomes, giving patients control over their therapy and lives, and reducing clinic waiting and travelling times. The results of this new survey show that there is a missed opportunity for patients and the NHS, who could benefit more from self-testing”.

coaguchek innerThe AFA, ACE and Roche have launched The Personal Touch campaign, as results from a new survey1 reveal that more than two-thirds of warfarin users find regular clinic appointments inconvenient, with the majority of patients (80%) who now self-monitor having previously spent up to two hours travelling to clinic appointments.

Although 42% of survey respondents had no problems taking warfarin, and a further 29% were reassured by taking it, 18% wanted more freedom, control or a way to save time.1 Also, over half of those using a monitor wanted to have more control over their condition.1 A separate study4 has also shown that 77% of patients prefer patient self-testing to the usual model of care and more than eight out of 10 found it straightforward.

Self-monitoring is in line with NHS Reform5 to put people at the heart of care, giving them “more choice and control”.  The new survey,1 run by the AFA, ACE and Roche, found that 94% of people on warfarin wanted to be more involved or consulted in care decisions, but over half were not aware of NHS plans in this area. The campaign seeks to raise awareness of the option to self-monitor if appropriate for the patient, and in so doing, empower them to have more control over their care.   Therefore, rather than having to visit clinics on a regular basis for blood tests, self-monitoring, with devices such as the CoaguChek® XS, which involves a simple fingerprick test, gives patients the freedom to monitor their condition at home or away. Over three quarters of patients found that being in control of their health is one of the major benefits of self-testing according to the survey.1

Eve Knight, Chief Executive of ACE said, “The Personal Touch campaign is in tune with the NHS reform agenda’s aim to put the patient at the heart of care, giving them more choice and control. The Department of Health recently highlighted self-monitoring for warfarin users as a prime example of the modern NHS coping with the millions of people with chronic conditions,6 yet too often we hear that our members are not able to get access to self-monitoring. We call today for healthcare professionals to give people who are suitable for self-monitoring the chance to do so – and let them benefit from the increased control over their lives”.

Trudie Lobban, Chief Executive of the AFA, said: “We are delighted to support The Personal Touch campaign and call for more awareness and access to self-monitoring, which we believe can significantly improve the lives of many people with atrial fibrillation – and other conditions requiring anti-clotting drugs – by reducing the risks of complications and allowing the freedom for people on long-term clotting drugs to test themselves wherever they are. We call on healthcare professionals to ensure that people who are suitable for self-monitoring are offered this as an option, and are provided with all necessary support to ensure they can benefit from it”.

Allison Rossiter, Director of Point of Care at Roche said: “The Personal Touch campaign is about giving patients the option to self-monitor if appropriate for them, and self-monitoring is a vital part of a modern NHS, using innovations in technology to cope with the increasing number of people with long-term conditions7, and putting patients more in control of how their condition is managed. Self-monitoring with the CoaguChek® XS meter gives people a quick, convenient way to test wherever they are, and enables them to tailor their dose depending on individual needs”.

References

1 Atrial Fibrillation Association, Anti-Coagulation Europe and Roche Diagnostics survey of people on long-term warfarin. May 2011. Data on file (Munro & Forster)

2 Data on file (Munro & Forster)

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

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

5 Department of Health White Paper. Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS. 2010 (available from http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/MediaCentre/Pressreleases/DH_117360 accessed June 2011)

6 Department of Health media release. Millions of patients set to benefit from a modern NHS. 14 March 2011. (Available from http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/MediaCentre/Pressreleases/DH_125042 accessed June 2011)

7 Innovative Technology Adoption Procurement Programme (iTAPP) (Available from http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Managingyourorganisation/NHSprocurement/DH_121248 accessed June 2011)

Published on: August 2, 2011

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ENDORSED BY

  • ArrhythmiaAlliance
  • Stars
  • Anticoagulation Europe
  • Atrial Fibrillation Association
 

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