Daiichi Sankyo have announced its commitment to extend the PREvention oF thromboembolic events – European Registry in Atrial Fibrillation (PREFER in AF). The extension of the registry will include a specific focus on the use of Novel Oral Anticoagulant (NOAC) therapy including prescribing patterns, providing new insight into the long-term management of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF).

The PREFER in AF Registry was initially conducted in seven European countries with over 7,000 patients to gain detailed insight into the characteristics and management of AF, with a focus on the prevention of thromboembolic events, and in particular, stroke. Baseline results released at EHRA EUROPACE in June 2013, illustrated recent changes in the management of AF and some uptake of NOACs following their inclusion in the updated ESC guidelines. This extension to the registry will collect additional up to date real life data from approximately 5,000 patients across more than 320 centres in nine European countries, including the addition of two new countries; Belgium and The Netherlands.

“Despite the introduction of a number of new oral anticoagulants there remains a lack of data on current management of AF patients in clinical practice settings. The PREFER in AF registry enables us to observe and understand different anticoagulation treatment patterns, giving us a valuable and much needed insight into the long-term management of patients with AF and specifically the use of NOACs,” explains Professor Paulus Kirchhof, Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Birmingham and Chair of the PREFER in AF Steering Committee. “It is critical that patients with AF who are at risk of experiencing stroke and thromboembolism maintain effective anticoagulation – and this extended registry will provide vital data to support clinicians with their prescribing decisions.”

The extended registry places a special focus on the use of NOACs and corresponding treatment patterns; including the reasons for switching AF patients to NOACs from vitamin K antagonists (VKAs). VKAs, such as warfarin, are the current standard of care but require frequent monitoring and dose adaptation to keep patients within therapeutic range. For patients with AF who are at risk of experiencing stroke and thromboembolism, it is critical to maintain effective anticoagulation.

AF is the most common type of heart rhythm disorder, and a major cause of morbidity and mortality across Europe.5 Patients with AF have a five-fold increased risk of stroke compared with the general population, and stroke in those suffering with AF is more severe, more likely to cause disability, and nearly twice as likely to be fatal than in those without AF. AF also places a considerable burden on European health systems, with inpatient care and interventional procedures accounting for the majority of costs. 

“As part of Daiichi Sankyo’s commitment to the advancement of cardiovascular medicine, multi-national registries are now underway in both AF and VTE,” comments Dr. Jan van Ruymbeke, CEO Daiichi Sankyo Europe. “Through these we aim to provide clinicians with data that can improve future management of AF and VTE and support them in delivering the best outcomes for patients while effectively managing resources.”

Further results from the PREFER in AF initial registry period are due to be presented later this year.