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Must Take New Blood Thinner Within 30 Days or It Expires

There was important news concerning the short shelf-life of the novel new blood-thinner, dabigatran (Pradaxa) reported today.

Once dispensed, most medicines expire after a year. Dabigatran, however, is far from the usual pill.  It’s packaged in pellet form within a capsule. These pellets are highly susceptible to water and humidity. So when dispensed in a typical vial–not a single-sealed blister pack–the drug expires in only 30 days.

Wow, I hadn’t known that. Apparently, neither did the chief investigator of the landmark RE-LY trial, Dr Michael Ezekowitz.

The important issue here is that an expired capsule might have less blood-thinning effect. That’s pretty important knowledge, especially since most patients and doctors expect pills to last a year.

I am not sure whether blister packs will evolve as standard packaging for Pradaxa or not. Maybe.

Here’s another example of how we learn about new medicines on the go.

Though Mr Gladwell would likely say not, perhaps our ‘new media’ will spread this important news faster than would have happened in the past.



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