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Medical News & Perspectives
April 14, 2010

New Oversight Put in Place for Physicians Giving Anemia Drugs to Patients With Cancer

JAMA. 2010;303(14):1355-1356. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.359

A new program by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to inform physicians and patients about the risks of using erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) for the treatment of anemia is under way. This risk management program also requires education for physicians prescribing ESAs to treat chemotherapy-related anemia in patients with cancer and documentation that these individuals have learned of the risks associated with ESAs. That education and documentation requirement has the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) concerned that the program will add to the administrative burdens of its members while not improving care.