This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: https://info.ahrq.gov. Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.
Please go to www.ahrq.gov for current information.
AHCPR, Duke University, and DuPont Merck Sign Agreement to
Continue Stroke Prevention Research
Press Release Date: April 30, 1996
The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) announced
today that it has signed a landmark agreement with Duke
University and DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Company to extend the
work of the AHCPR-funded patient outcomes research team (PORT) to
examine the most effective way to prevent stroke in high-risk
Under the agreement, Duke University will conduct a 3-year
randomized trial to evaluate the effectiveness of anticoagulation
services for preventing strokes by promoting the appropriate use
of the anticoagulant drug warfarin. The trial has been named
MAST (Managing Anticoagulation Services Trial).
The study will be conducted in various managed care organizations
and will involve up to 2,500 patients with atrial fibrillation, a
condition characterized by rapid and erratic beating of the heart
which increases the risk of stroke. The project will be headed
by David Matchar, M.D., principal investigator of AHCPR's stroke
prevention PORT, and will receive up to $1.5 million in funding
from DuPont Merck, which manufactures warfarin, to supplement
The stroke prevention PORT originally was funded by AHCPR in
1991. The PORT's analysis of the best available scientific
evidence suggests that warfarin is effective in preventing
strokes in many patients with atrial fibrillation.
Last fall, the investigators announced that increasing the use of
warfarin could prevent as many as 40,000 strokes a year in
persons with atrial fibrillation and save nearly $600 million a
year in health care costs. It is generally acknowledged that
warfarin is underutilized in these patients.
According to AHCPR Administrator Clifton Gaus, Sc.D., today's
agreement brings the Agency together in a new way with academia
and the private sector.
"AHCPR and its partners are committed to continuing the
groundbreaking work of the PORT because we recognize that
additional research is needed to effectively implement the use of
warfarin in everyday medical practice for those patients at high
risk for stroke," said Gaus. Duke University provides the
clinical and research expertise; AHCPR provides scientific
oversight and financial support; and DuPont Merck provides
technical assistance and financial support.
"This is the first time that AHCPR has entered into a formal
partnership of this kind with the private sector, and it will be
the first of many," Gaus said. "We want to work often in
collaboration with the private sector to pursue important
research on questions regarding the quality and costs of health
According to David Matchar, M.D., this agreement is vital to
helping health care providers deliver appropriate and
cost-effective stroke prevention therapy.
"Through this partnership we
are able to translate the findings of our research into
real-world information for physicians and
other health professionals
who treat persons at risk for stroke every day," Matchar said.
"Our company is committed to furthering research in the area of
disease prevention. The AHCPR Stroke PORT identified the
opportunity to save lives. We are pleased to be a part of MAST,
which will provide valuable information on stroke prevention,"
said Kurt Landgraf, president and C.E.O of DuPont Merck.
Note to Editors: For more information, contact Renee Twombly
at Duke University, (919) 684-4148; or Andrea Scibelli at DuPont
Merck, (302) 892-1306.
For additional information, contact AHCPR Public Affairs: Karen Migdail, (301) 427-1855 or Salina Prasad, (301) 427-1864.