Epogen – Overuse Dangerous

by Medindia Content Team on  April 19, 2007 at 3:54 PM Drug News   - G J E 4
Epogen – Overuse Dangerous
The Anemia management drugs have been in use from a long time by the doctors and patients to improve the quality of life in the CKD (chronic kidney disease) patients. Before ESA only blood transfusion was done to increase the blood count in the anemic patient.

Today the result of the study funded by the American government show that a higher dosage of Epogen, the recommended medicine for anemia causes deadly side effects mainly for the kidney dialysis patient. The drug when used more than the prescribed dosage caused: Increased Mortality, Serious Cardiovascular and Thromboembolic Events, like strokes and heart attacks.

The FDA has asked the manufactures to issue a black box warning on the box of the drug.

Previous studies have shown that preliminary data collected from a large prospective trial on EPO in critically ill patients showed an improved survival and increased hemoglobin with ESP in medical, surgical and trauma patients. There is also a hemoglobin restoration in patient with renal diseases.

This can be one of the reasons why there is still an overuse of epogen for patients, at for-profit dialysis centers, in spite of their anemic status. The Medical Technology and Practice Patterns Institute in its new study found that Epogen accounts for 20 to 25 percent of annual revenues at some centers. They also found that Medicare reimbursed these centers separately for Epogen use other than the reimbursement of a fixed amount for the treatment. This has led them to believe that "Patients are at risk here. They need to be reassured that the right thing is being done for them." They have urged the American Medical Association to rectify the flaw of the reimbursement system as it was putting the patient at greater risks.

Source: Medindia

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