Asthma drugs can stay on market;painkiller withdrawn

An FDA advisory panel recommended yesterday that three popular asthma drugs be allowed to remain on the market, despite some evidence linking them to serious health risks in a few instances. The specialist panel said that the benefits that Advair, Servent and Fidil provide far outweighs any risks associated with the drugs. The panel did, however, suggest adding a warning label for Fidil, which is made by Novartis, to inform patients of possible health risks.

A seperate FDA review was far harsher on Palladone, a new painkiller distributed by Purdue Pharma, which was approved only in February. A recent clinical trial had suggested fatal interactions are possible when the drug is combined with even moderate alcohol consumption. The panel agreed the risks are serious and ordered the drug withdrawn from the market.

- see this story from The New York Times