RIDGEFIELD, Conn., May 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (BIPI) today announced that Pradaxa ® (dabigatran etexilate mesylate) capsules has received preferred Tier 2 formulary status with all AARP Medicare Part D plans through its pharmacy benefits manager, Prescription Solutions ®. The AARP plans, which include AARP Medicare Rx and AARP MedicareComplete from Secure Horizons, provide prescription drug access to nearly 6.8 million Americans and represent the largest provider of Medicare Part D coverage in the U.S. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved PRADAXA in October 2010 to reduce the risk of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF).(1) More than 25 million Americans are enrolled in a Medicare Part D program, which provides prescription drug coverage for Medicare beneficiaries. An estimated 2.3 million Americans are living with atrial fibrillation (AFib)(2) and approximately 82 percent are age 65 or older.(2) A large managed care database study showed that NVAF represents roughly 95 percent of all AFib cases in the U.S.(2) Atrial fibrillation increases the risk of stroke nearly five times(3) and is associated with up to 15 percent of all strokes in the U.S.(3) "The addition of PRADAXA to the nation's largest Part D plans helps ensure many more NVAF patients have access to this important medication, which, in a clinical study, has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of stroke compared to warfarin," said Wa'el Hashad, vice president, cardiovascular and metabolic disorders marketing, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "PRADAXA is now on formulary with AARP, Medco, Express Scripts and several more of the nation's largest managed care providers." Seven months after FDA approval, PRADAXA is available at the lowest branded co-pay level on formularies that insure more than 45 percent of NVAF patients in the U.S. This now includes nearly 50 percent of Medicare beneficiaries. For those patients who may not otherwise be able to afford treatment, BIPI offers patient assistance programs to help provide coverage for the costs of their medications.