The Health Council of the Netherlands recently published an advisory report on a new generation of anticoagulant drugs to be used by patients with atrial fibrillation. The Council states that observational studies are needed on the use of these drugs in daily practice before they can be introduced into the Dutch health care system. In our view, however, the report places too much emphasis on the disadvantages of the new oral anticoagulant drugs; on the risk of bleeding, in particular. Only elderly patients should be included in the proposed studies. In addition, healthcare safety measures should be applied to all antithrombotic drug use, not only to the new generation of oral anticoagulants. The patient’s perspective should be part of the process of choosing an oral anticoagulant.
Conflict of interest: J.R.B.J Brouwers was editor-in-chief of the Farmacotherapeutisch Kompas; he received a research grant from GCDR and payment for lectures from Baden Education. E. Visser and J.R.B.J. Brouwers received payment for consultancy from MH Pronk Healthcare Consultancy. Financial support: none declared.