FDA examines anemia drugs used to treat stroke victims

WASHINGTON Use of anemia drugs from Amgen and Johnson & Johnson to treat stroke patients has come under scrutiny by the Food and Drug Administration following studies showing the experimental use leading to higher premature death rates, the FDA said Friday.

A German study designed to determine whether J&J’s drug Procrit (epoetin alfa) could improve cognitive function in stroke patients found that more patients taking the drug died prematurely than those taking a placebo. Amgen sells a version of the drug under the brand name Epogen.

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