Medicare upholds anemia drug cuts

Medicare to Johnson & Johnson and Amgen: You can't always get what you want. Dealing a blow to both companies' fortunes, the agency says it won't reverse its decision to cut reimbursements for anemia drugs.

The two companies surely got their hopes up last week when an FDA advisory committee recommended against dosage restrictions on the drugs, which include Amgen's Aranesp and J&J's Procrit. Shareholders certainly did; Amgen's stock skyrocketed on the news.

There's a loophole, though. Medicare said it might change its mind if the companies came up with some proof that chemo patients absolutely need the drugs. New clinical trial, anyone?

- read the article from the Boston Globe