LAUNCESTON'S John Davey is one of thousands of Tasmanians set to benefit from the listing on the federal government's Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme of the anticoagulant drug Pradaxa.
Mr Davey suffered a stroke 2 1/2 years ago, but said he did not realise it at the time.
``I felt a bit tired for a few months and was really unfit - I felt a bit funny, but when my daughter came around for dinner, I found that I couldn't string words together to make a sentence - it was quite distressing,'' Mr Davey said.
``My wife insisted I go to the doctor - she did a load of tests and couldn't find anything wrong, apart from not being able to talk properly, so she sent me in for a CAT scan and they discovered I had a two centimetre by one centimetre clot in my brain.''
Mr Davey said the clot had been caused by an irregular heartbeat, but he did not want to take the anticoagulant warfarin because his mother and father had reacted badly to it.
When Mr Davey went to see Launceston Heart Centre's Geoffrey Evans, he learnt about Pradaxa and in May 2011 became part of a national trial.
Dr Evans said he was disappointed it had taken the federal government 2 1/2 years to include Pradaxa in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, from the time its use was approved.
Dr Evans said he was sure the number of adverse outcomes resulting from strokes would be reduced significantly because of the drug's listing.