FDA approves BMS' arthritis drug

The Food and Drug Administration gave its blessing to a new drug designed to treat rheumatoid arthritis. An FDA review panel ruled 7-0 that the benefits of Orencia outweigh any potential health risks. Industry observers think the drug is likely to become a blockbuster for Bristol Myers Squibb, which will market the drug to 2.1 million rheumatoid arthritis sufferers in the US. The approval is likely to draw criticism from consumer advocates and some physicians who have pointed at the increased risk of infection linked to Orencia in a recent study. BMS has offered to carry out extensive post-marketing studies on the drug voluntarily.

- see this story from the Newark Star Ledger