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European Union approves drug-eluting stents

The EU recently provided CE Marking for the use of a dual anti-platelet therapy (DAPT) for patients suffering from coronary artery disease. Instead of undergoing at least a year of further medications after a stent placement, patients can now take advantage of a reduced medication period of a minimum of three months.

Following drug-eluting stent (DES) implantations, patients are usually prescribed DAPT — a combination of aspirin and an anti-platelet medication — to protect them from developing blood clots and experiencing other discomfort or medical complications.

Patients are recommended to remain on DAPT for six to 12 months, according to the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) guidelines for myocardial revascularization published in 2010.

Those treated with the newly CE-marked DES, however, are not only at lower risk of internal bleeding, but can more safely discontinue medication if surgeries are required or in the event of medical complications.

Commenting on this recent medical technological progress, Hwang Juey-jen (黃瑞仁), a physician from the National Taiwan University Hospital Cardiology Department, said, “Reducing the amount of time patients need to remain on DAPT can have a significant impact on patient health and could lead to decreased health care costs.”

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