FDA to further investigate anemia drug risks

The FDA has announced that it plans to review data on key anemia drugs Aranesp, Epogen and Procrit which suggests that they can increase risks of death and tumor growth in women with breast or cervical cancers. These drugs, which are used to treat chemotherapy-induced anemia, have come under fire from two new studies which suggest that they can have serious impact on women's survival. For example, one study found that among 733 women getting chemotherapy before breast cancer surgery, 14 percent of those taking Aranesp had died after three years, as compared with 9.8 percent of those who didn't receive it. The drugs already bear a black box warning, but the FDA is considering unspecified "additional actions."

To find out more about the FDA's deliberations:
- read this Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report article

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