This latest anticoagulant drug is called Xarelto (AKA rivaroxaban) and it is manufactured by Bayer/Johnson & Johnson. The trial which has cardiologists buzzing about this new drug is known as ROCKET-AF. 14,000 patients with atrial fibrillation in the ROCKET-AF trial have been tested with either Coumadin or Xarelto and so far the results are promising. Xarelto has been shown to be just as effective in preventing strokes as Coumadin. The greatest difference between this new study drug and Coumadin is that Xarelto does not require dose adjustments and monitoring.
However, unlike the newly approved Pradaxa, Xarelto has not yet been shown to work better than Coumadin for preventing strokes. The other Coumadin alternatives are not even approved yet and it already looks like Pradaxa has an advantage over the competition. If approved by the FDA soon, Xarelto could still easily compete by setting their prices lower than Pradaxa. To be honest, any drug that works as well as Coumadin but without all the hassle is bound to be popular!