The Food and Drug Administration is to probe the potential risks of cancer, flu and multiple sclerosis drugs manufactured by Roche Holding AG, Novartis AG and other companies.
The move follows reports of hearing loss related to Novartis cancer drug Gleevec, hypothermia with Roche's flu drug Tamiflu and pericarditis with Biogen Idec and Elan Corp's multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri. The probes are being initiated mon issues with drugs reported between April 2009 and September 2009.
However the FDA cautioned that "Being on the list does not mean that FDA has identified a causal relationship between the drug and the listed risk."
The other drugs being probed include rheumatoid arthritis drugs known as tumor necrosis factor (TNF blockers), which have been linked to a neurological disorder called demyelinating neuropathy.