Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
FDA, Biogen Idec Say HIV-Positive People Should Not Take Skin Disorder Drug Amevive
FDA and the pharmaceutical company Biogen Idec on Thursday said HIV-positive individuals should not take the company's skin drug Amevive because it might lower their CD4+ T cell counts, Reuters reports (Reuters, 11/10). The drug is approved to treat moderate to severe psoriasis, an autoimmune skin disorder (Dow Jones/Boston Globe, 11/11). In a letter to health care providers last month, Biogen contraindicated Amevive for HIV-positive patients (Reuters, 11/10). Carmen Bozic, senior director of drug safety and risk management for Biogen, wrote that the contraindication says "Amevive should not be administered to patients with HIV. Amevive reduces CD4+ T lymphocyte counts, which might accelerate disease progression or increase complications of disease in these patients" (Biogen Idec letter, October 2005).
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