23 Aug 2010

Heart drug to be more widely available

6:02 am on 23 August 2010

State drug buying agency Pharmac says a blood thinning drug for heart patients will be more widely available from next month.

The agency says Clopidogrel has been available only to people who have had heart attacks or strokes, and those at a high risk of having them.

Medical director Peter Moodie says the drug will now cost $5 for a month's supply, under a deal with a different supplier.

Dr Moodie says it means people with less acute heart problems will have access to the drug.

He says the number of people using Clopidogrel should double to 50,000 in the next three years.