FDA calls for warnings on anaemia drugs amid reports of incentives to doctors

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 17 May 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:1022
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

    The committee of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that advises on oncology drugs last week recommended new warnings on erythropoiesis stimulating drugs that are given to patients undergoing chemotherapy to counteract anaemia. Patients undergoing dialysis are also often given the drugs.

    The committee said that such synthetic erythropoietins (also called epoetins or “epo drugs”) were associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events and possibly of progression of cancer. It unanimously recommended new clinical trials.

    The FDA committee's recommendations came only days after the New York Times published a story on its front page headlined “Doctors reaping millions for use of anemia drugs” (, 9 May) and the Wall Street Journal reported how Johnson & Johnson promoted …

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