US agency limits payments for anaemia drugs

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 24 May 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:1079
  1. Jeanne Lenzer
  1. Boston

    The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued a proposal to limit Medicare payments for anaemia drugs used to treat patients with cancer.

    The proposal came on the heels of new warnings from the oncology drugs committee of the US Food and Drug Administration that the drugs, known as erythropoiesis stimulating agents (ESAs) are overused and could shorten patients' lives.

    The committee unanimously recommended new clinical trials of the drugs, including Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa) and Epogen (epoetin alfa), made by Amgen, and Procrit (epoetin alfa), made by Johnson and Johnson (BMJ 2007;334:1022, 19 May doi: 10.1136/bmj.39216.489780.DB).

    The FDA issued updated public health advise on …

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