News in brief: Low switching rates for oral anticoagulants; BTK inhibitor reimbursed for MCL; Blood 2022 meeting to be held in Sydney

Thursday, 3 Mar 2022


Low switching rates for oral anticoagulants

A primary care study has found low rates of switching between oral anticoagulants in patients with atrial fibrillation.

Data from 15,020 general practice patients who were recorded as having been commenced on warfarin or a DOAC for AF between 2013 and 2017 showed that 5.7% of patients switched their oral anticoagulant within 12 months.

Patients were most likely to switch from warfarin (9.4%) and dabigatran (8.9%) and less likely to switch from apixaban (2.6%) and rivaroxaban (4.0%).

Kidney disease appeared to be a significant factor in switching oral anticoagulants, as patients with an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) <30 mL/min were more likely to switch from DOACs to warfarin and less likely to switch from warfarin, compared to those with an eGFR >60 mL/min.

The findings are published in Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology.

BTK inhibitor reimbursed for MCL

Zanubrutinib (Bruksina) has been listed on the PBS as monotherapy for relapsed/refractory patients with mantle cell lymphoma from 1 March 2022.

The Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor is listed as a second-line treatment for adult patients with a WHO performance status of 0 or 1 who have received at least one prior therapy, or in first line treatments for patients unsuitable for chemo-immunotherapy.

The listing is the first Australian reimbursement for Chinese-based company BeiGene, which says it chose Australia to start its global zanubrutinib clinical trials in 2014 and has undertaken all its first-in-human phase 1 trials undertaken in the country.

In Australia, more than 6,000 people are diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma each year, making it the sixth most common cancer in adults.

“Australia has some of the highest rates of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in the world, and I know Australian MCL patients will be welcoming the news today about BRUKINSA being added to the PBS,” said Sharon Winton CEO of Lymphoma Australia.


Blood 2022 meeting to be held in Sydney

Blood 2022 will be held as an in-person meeting this year in Sydney from September 11–14, according to the conference organisers.

The call for abstracts submission is now open for the combined Annual Scientific Meeting of the Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand (HSANZ), the Australian and New Zealand Society of Blood Transfusion (ANZSBT) and the Thrombosis and Haemostasis society of Australia and New Zealand (THANZ).

According to the organisers, the ASM will be held as a face-to-face meeting at the International Convention Centre, Sydney, with attendance from Australia, New Zealand and international speakers from the US, UK and Europe.

“We are very much looking forward to gathering together in person again, and planning is already underway for an excellent educational program including leading international experts joining us in Sydney,” they said.

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