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US announces drug treatment for sickle cell anaemia

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6976.352 (Published 11 February 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:352

The first drug treatment for severe sickle cell anaemia has been announced by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in the US. The drug, hydroxyurea, proved so effective in reducing painful episodes (crises) in adult patients with sickle cell anaemia that a study in 21 centres across the US and Canada of 299 patients with the disease was stopped four months earlier than planned.

The institute issued a two page clinical alert to American doctors last month, saying: “Physicians …

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