FDA panel backs anemia drugs for kidney disease

October 18, 2010

(AP) -- Federal health advisers say patients with failing kidneys should continue taking a group of widely used anemia drugs, despite a recent study showing they can increase the risk of stroke.

A panel of experts voted 15-1 to maintain the drugs' approval for patients with chronic who are not yet sick enough to receive dialysis. The FDA is not required to follow the group's advice, though it often does.

The panel is now scheduled to discuss altering recommended doses of the drugs to increase their safety.

The FDA is reviewing the three blood-boosting medications from Amgen Inc. after a study published last year that showed kidney disease patients taking them were twice as likely to experience compared with those taking a dummy treatment.

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