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Calling for access to LAAO for high-risk AF patients

There was a call at the meeting for NHS England to reconsider its ‘Commissioning through Evaluation (CtE)’ process for left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO), the only treatment available to prevent an atrial fibrillation (AF)-related stroke in patients in whom oral anticoagulation is contraindicated.

The treatment is currently being evaluated through the CtE programme but as it‘s about to enter its assessment phase, no more funding is available for any patient until the evaluation is reported and NHS funding agreed –  a process which could take more than two years. LAAO is already fully reimbursed in a number of EU countries and also has US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

“Many of these patients are living with a potential ticking time-bomb as they are at seriously high risk of suffering AF-related stroke and the only treatment option open to them is LAAO,” stated Dr Dhiraj Gupta (Consultant Cardiologist, Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital).

“Although we believe in the concept of CtE, we cannot accept such high-risk patients with AF being unable to receive this often life-saving treatment. The Arrhythmia Alliance together with many UK Cardiac Specialists is urging NHS England to allow those centres already in the CtE process to continue to provide LAAO while the wider funding decisions are taken,” Trudie Lobban  (CEO & Founder, Arrhythmia Alliance) added.

Published on: November 8, 2016

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  • ArrhythmiaAlliance
  • Stars
  • Anticoagulation Europe
  • Atrial Fibrillation Association

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