Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Death Risk Found From Anemia Drugs

Widely used anemia drugs sold by Amgen and Johnson & Johnson raise the risk of death among cancer patients by about 10 percent, according to a new analysis of previous clinical trials that was published Wednesday.
The new study is the first compilation of clinical trial data — called a meta-analysis — to show a statistically significant increase in the risk of death from the drugs, said Dr. Charles L. Bennett, a professor at Northwestern University and the lead author of the study.
The publication comes as the Food and Drug Administration is planning to convene an advisory committee on March 13 to discuss whether to impose further restrictions on the use of the drugs, Amgen's Aranesp and Johnson & Johnson's Procrit.
Amgen, however, said the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, provided little new information. "What he observes is the risks that we've already talked about that are in the label," said Dr. Roger Perlmutter, Amgen's executive vice president for research and development.©Nyt

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