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Medical News & Perspectives
January 28, 2009

FDA Panel: Ban 2 Popular Asthma Drugs

JAMA. 2009;301(4):365-366. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.991

A panel of advisors to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that the agency ban the marketing of 2 popular asthma drugs that have been associated with an increased risk of rare but serious adverse events and, in some cases, death.

The panel was charged with assessing the risks and benefits of certain asthma treatments, specifically the long-acting β-agonist (LABA) drugs formoterol and salmeterol and combination products containing both a LABA and an inhaled corticosteroid (formoterol plus budesonide and salmeterol plus fluticasone). Previously, the FDA’s Office of Drug Safety and the agency’s pulmonary and allergy drug products division had made contradictory recommendations concerning LABAs.