A study regarding aspirin is questioning whether or not it is beneficial to use such coating. Some doctors, however prescribe much more expensive drugs to patients because other studies of the over-the-counter drug deem aspirin ineffective.

Generic regular strength enteric coated 325mg ...
Generic regular strength enteric coated aspirin tablets. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tuesday on the Circulation journal, the study took a closer look into the controversial idea that aspirin does not help prevent stroke or heart attacks for some people. This topic has gained controversy over the last decade. Cardiologists and drug researchers that studied the drug and how it affected the patients claimed that an estimated five to forty percent of the population may be resistant to aspirin. According to some doctors, the prevalence of the condition is an exaggeration by financially interested parties and thus false. Drug makers with a commercial interest in drugs and certain doctors continually back the claim that the thrifty over-the-counter drug does not work, regardless of the heart benefits which have been known since the 1950s.

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania authored the study and examined a group of 400 healthy people. From that group of people there wasn’t a single case of true aspirin resistance. What they discovered was that the coating on the aspirin may be at fault. With the way the drug enters the body, the coating may make it seem that the potency of the drug is non-existent in some people.

Bayer, the world’s largest manufacture of brand-name aspirin, most which is coated, financed the study according to the New York Times.

Dr. Garret FitzGerald, chairman of pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania and one of the study’s authors told the publication that there is little evidence that proves that aspirin coating protects the stomach better than uncoated aspirin.

“These studies question the value of coated, low-dose aspirin,” he said in a statement accompanying the article. “This product adds cost to treatment, without any clear benefit. Indeed, it may lead to the false diagnosis of aspirin resistance and the failure to provide patients with an effective therapy.”

Bayer published a statement post the study’s findings that argued with its conclusions and methods. It compared the study against previous studies that proved that coated aspirin or enteric-coated aspirin has the ability to stop blood plates from sticking together – an essential function to prevent heart attack and stroke.

“When used as directed,” the company said, “both enteric and non-enteric coated aspirin provides meaningful benefits, is safe and effective and is infrequently associated with clinically significant side effects.”

Dr. FitzGerald, however, fought back stating that there was no reason a patient should use anything other than affordable uncoated generic aspirin.

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