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| 28 September 2012 | By Louise Zornoza
The UK's National Institutes of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), the country's cost containment agency, has cleared the use of Boehringer Ingelheim's alteplase (Actilyse) for the treatment of acute ischaemic stroke by the National Health Service (NHS) in final guidance issued on 26 September.
The guidance recommends starting treatment as early as possible within 4.5 hours after onset of stroke symptoms, and after intracranial haemorrhage has been excluded by appropriate imaging techniques. Alteplase is a tissue plasminogen activator, an enzyme that degrades fibrin clots and helps restore blood flow through blocked arteries.
According to Professor Carole Longson, the Director of NICE's Health Technology Evaluation Centre, "Today's guidance recommending the use of alteplase within the extended time frame for which it is now licensed has the potential to have a significant impact on the treatment of thousands of patients." According to the UK Stroke Association, every year more than 130,000 people in England and Wales suffer a stroke.
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Tags: Boehringer Ingelheim, Stroke, NHS, guidance