NEW YORK (AP) -- Drugmaker Pfizer says European regulators have approved its highly-anticipated blood thinner Eliquis to prevent blood clots in patients who have had hip or knee replacement surgery.
The approval by the European commission means the drug, known as apixaban, will be available in the 27 countries of the European Union. Pfizer Inc. co-developed the drug with Bristol-Myers Squibb, which will share the profits.
The drug was approved based on two studies that showed better outcomes for patients taking Eliquis rather than receiving an injection of the typical current treatment.
The drug has been touted as a potential blockbuster drug for its ability to prevent blood clots without the bleeding side effects of older drugs like warfarin. However, last year the companies had to halt a 10,000-patient study due to excessive bleeding.