Amgen touts new Aranesp studies

Could this be evidence to help tip Medicare scales toward an about-face on anemia drugs? Amgen is touting two new studies: one that showed extended doses of its Aranesp anemia drug every two to three weeks with chemotherapy was safe, and as effective at raising hemoglobin levels as more frequent treatment is. The second? A meta-analysis of six trials, which seems to indicate that Aranesp treatment decreases blood transfusions and "other events."

Yesterday, you know, Medicare said it needed hard evidence that the drugs work better than drug transfusions to alleviate anemia. Otherwise, its July decision to cut reimbursements for the drugs--which include Aranesp, plus Amgen's Epogen and Johnson & Johnson's Procrit--will stand.

- check out the press release from Amgen

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