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Johnson & Johnson Halts Trials of Procrit

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Health-care company Johnson & Johnson halted several clinical trials of a widely used anemia drug after patients developed a higher-than-expected number of blood clots, a company spokesman said on Thursday.

Health-care company Johnson & Johnson halted several clinical trials of a widely used anemia drug after patients developed a higher-than-expected number of blood clots, a company spokesman said on Thursday. Mark Wolfe, a spokesman for Ortho Biotech, the J&J unit that markets Procrit, said the investigational trials aimed to boost hemoglobin levels to make radiation or chemotherapy more effective in cancer patients. Wolfe said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is not requiring any action because the trials have stopped and added that Procrit is safe when used as indicated to treat anemia. The New York Times first reported on Thursday that J&J had suspended clinical trials of Procrit because of unexpected levels of blood clotting. The newspaper also reported some other trials involving Procrit had been halted or changed by their investigators as a precaution, according to doctors involved in those trials. Doctors told The New York Times the development added more evidence that the drug, Procrit, and perhaps similar drugs sold by Amgen Inc., could pose risks if used more than is necessary to reverse anemia. But Johnson & Johnson, Amgen and several doctors told the newspaper that the drugs would not pose a danger if used in appropriate amounts. Amgen could not immediately be reached by Reuters on the Thanksgiving Day holiday.(Source: Reuters, MEDline Plus November 2003)

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Posted On: 30 November, 2003
Modified On: 7 December, 2013

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