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Patient deaths and injuries prompt recall of anemia drug

Patients who suffer from chronic illnesses must often undergo a variety of medical treatments and therapies. In many cases, such treatments have adverse side effects which doctors try to combat by administering certain prescription drugs. In some cases, such drugs that are meant to alleviate side effects instead cause more serious or even fatal side effects.

Patients who have chronic kidney disease must often undergo routine kidney dialysis treatments. While necessary to rid a patient’s body of waste and water, such treatments often result in a patient having a low red blood cell count or a condition commonly referred to as anemia.

The prescription drug Omontys was recently recalled after numerous reports of severe side effects which resulted in at least five patient deaths. The drug is manufactured by Affymax Inc. and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. The drug companies issued an immediate recall of Omontys after at least 50 patients reported experiencing a severe allergic reaction to the drug upon first use.

An estimated 25,000 patients have been prescribed and given Omontys. The good news is that the severe allergic reaction to the drug seems to manifest quickly after the initial dose is administered. Therefore, patients who have been exposed to and tolerated the drug will most likely not suffer any harm.

The drug companies are working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ensure that the use and administration of Omontys cease at all dialysis centers. At least five patients have reportedly died as a result of taking the defective drug.

Patients or loved ones of patients who have been adversely impacted by a recalled drug may want to seek legal advice. In many cases legal action may be an appropriate means to resolving matter involving injuries that result from exposure to defective and dangerous drugs.

Source: NBC News, “5 deaths, allergic reactions prompt anemia drug recall,” The Associated Press, Feb. 25, 2013

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