NICE reverses dronedarone AF decision

NICE has reversed its draft decision on the atrial fibrillation (AF) drug dronedarone, recommending the drug for limited second-line use.

Electrocardiogram depicting atrial fibrillation
Electrocardiogram depicting atrial fibrillation

The institute said its decision to revise its view followed comments received during public consultation.

Draft guidance published this week recommends the limited use of the drug as a second-line treatment in people with additional cardiovascular risk factors whose AF has not been controlled by first-line therapy.

In prelimary recommendations issued in December, NICE concluded that dronedarone was not cost effective for AF treatment and could not be recommended for use in the NHS. This view was challenged by the Atrial Fibrillation Association and others.

NICE said this week that it had not changed its conclusion that dronedarone is not as effective as other anti-arrhythmic drugs in preventing the recurrence of AF. But is said it had accepted evidence that the drug did not lead to an increase in the risk of mortality, unlike the anti-arrhythmics with which it was compared. It concluded that dronedarone was likely to result in fewer adverse effects than amiodarone.

NICE's draft guidance on dronedarone is open for consulation until 22 April.

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