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Drug Makers Raked in Millions form Questionable Anemia Drugs

Filed July 20th, 2012 Laurie

Epogen, Procrit and Aranesp were among the top-selling prescription drugs in the U.S., generating nearly $8 billion in revenue for drug makers Amgen and Johnson & Johnson.
Unfortunately, the drugs’ Food and Drug Administration-approved label stating their benefits included “life satisfaction and happiness” – a gross overstatement of the drugs’ usefulness. In reality, the drugs came with dire side effects, including cancer and strokes.

Last year, Medicare released an 84-page study declaring that there was no solid evidence that the drugs made kidney patients – the original and most common market for the drugs – feel any better, improved their survival, or had any “clinical benefit” besides elevating a statistic for red blood cell count.

Amgen won far-reaching FDA approvals via a well-funded research and lobbying campaign. Both Amgen and J&J conducted trials that sidestepped the dangers and touted benefits that, years later, would be deemed unproven. It took the company a decade to fulfill their research commitments.

As a result, drug makers raked in billions of dollars in profit while millions of patients were subjected to dangerous doses that served little purpose.

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