Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Anemia Drug in Japan Blamed for Death of Patient

A U.S. patient died of liver failure in Japan after taking an anemia med that is considered experimental. The patient was taking ten other medications and was over 70.

The drug is known now as FG-2216. It is part 2 of a three stage of patient study usually needed for approval in the U.S. It aims to help patients with chronic kidney disease and cancer increase levels of a protein called erythropoietin that stimulates production of red-blood cells, which carry oxygen through the blood.

The drug was to used orally, and would be an alternative to Epogen, Procrit and Aranesp . Recently each of those made news because of alleged links side effects, including strokes and heart attacks, in patients with chronic kidney failure. Epogen is also the biggest drug expense for the U.S. health insurance program.

The source is Bloomberg.