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Health Care Reform
December 2014

The Withdrawal of Drugs for Commercial Reasons: The Incomplete Story of Tositumomab

Author Affiliations
  • 1Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(12):1887-1888. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.5756

Drug withdrawals for commercial or financial reasons are more frequent than those for concerns about safety or efficacy, yet they attract less attention and interest. In the United States, among all new molecular entities approved from 1980 to 2009, 118 drugs were withdrawn from the market, but only 22% (n = 26) were withdrawn for safety reasons.1 Among all new active substances approved in the United Kingdom between 1972 and 1994, 35 (59%) of the 59 drug withdrawals were for commercial reasons.2

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