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FDA’s drug vote may show risk stance

Marketplace Staff Feb 3, 2009
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FDA’s drug vote may show risk stance

Marketplace Staff Feb 3, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Today an FDA panel is expected to recommend approval of a new blood-thinning drug by Eli Lilly. The decision could set a precedent for how powerful, but risky new drugs are brought to market. Marketplace’s Dan Grech has more.


DAN GRECH: The new drug is called prasugrel. It’s a competitor to Plavix, one of the world’s best selling prescription drugs. Studies found prasugrel is better than Plavix at preventing heart attacks and strokes. But the new drug also can lead to fatal bleeding in some patients.

James Unland edits the Journal of Health Care Finance. He says the FDA has been criticized for being too slow to approve risky new drugs, and for not being up front about the risks.

JAMES UNLAND: This is a breath of fresh air for the FDA to target risky drugs to the proper patients and to warn both the medical community and consumers about them.

Unland says an FDA warning won’t stop the drug from finding a big market.

UNLAND: There are still billions of dollars in revenue available for properly targeted drugs. This is not an all or nothing proposition.

Analysts estimate that sales of prasugrel could reach a billion dollars a year for drug maker Eli Lilly.

I’m Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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