FDA Panel Allows Painkiller Developers to Continue Drug TrialsWritten by Taryn Tawoda | March 13, 2012
An FDA panel today decided to allow Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals to continue trials for painkillers that were linked to joint failure after clinical trials in 2010, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek report.
The panel, whose decision the FDA is not required to adhere to, voted 21-0 that the benefits of enhanced pain relief outweigh the risks of the drugs.
Studies on the class of drugs were initially halted in 2010, when joint issues were reported among participating patients because the drugs blocked a protein that causes certain nerve cells to grow, according to The National Institutes of Health. If the drug trials resume, the FDA panel suggests screening patients ahead of time and taking greater safety precautions, such as limiting the drug dosage and focusing on patients with terminal illnesses.
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