Unmet Needs in Anticoagulant Therapy: Potential Role of Rivaroxaban
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The new generation of non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) have been welcomed as a convenient alternative to warfarin. Three new oral anticoagulants, dabigatran etexilate, rivaroxaban and apixaban have been approved for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism (SSE) in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and the prevention of venous thromboembolic events (VTEs) in patients who have undergone elective hip or knee replacement surgery. Dabigatran etexilate and rivaroxaban are also indicated for the treatment of VTE and the long-term prevention of recurrent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). A fourth agent, edoxaban, has been successfully tested for several indications but is not yet approved for use in North America or Europe. Building on these successes, new trials are planned to address remaining unmet needs and knowledge gaps. This paper examines the unresolved issues in anticoagulant therapy with a focus on planned and ongoing trials.