US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of a new drug typically coincides with a period of patent protection, during which the manufacturer will often apply for additional indications to expand the market for the product. For example, the tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib (Gleevec; Novartis) was originally approved to treat Philadelphia chromosome–positive chronic myelogenous leukemia, but has since been approved for treatment of other cancers. Many noncancer drugs also follow this pattern, including botulinum toxin A (Botox; Allergan), which was originally approved for the treatment of strabismus and blepharospasm and subsequently approved for treatment of cervical dystonia, cosmetic uses, and chronic migraine.
Sachs RE, Ginsburg PB, Goldman DP. Encouraging New Uses for Old Drugs. JAMA. 2017;318(24):2421–2422. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.17535
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