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Jack Sisson's Life Ethics Blog
We must find new ways through many ethical issues, especially regarding bioethics, medical ethics, and criminal justice. Jack Sisson's 'Life Ethics' blog focuses on numerous areas of concern, including the philosophical and ethical dilemmas surrounding stem-cell research, abortion, medical research, and health care.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Novartis drug investigated after 11 deaths
A European agency is investigating a multiple sclerosis drug made by industry giant Novartis to determine whether the medicine played any role in the deaths at least 11 patients.
The drug, Gilenya, was licensed last year in the European Union to treat a severe type of multiple sclerosis. It can cause a slow heart rate when first taken and doctors closely monitor patients after the first dose.
The European Medicines Agency, which is now investigating the drug, said it isn't clear if it caused the deaths. One of the fatalities occurred in the United States, where a patient died within 24 hours of taking the first dose.
The European agency said it didn't know where the other 10 deaths occurred, but that they were reported to its drug database, which monitors side effects from medicines in the European Union.
Novartis said not all the deaths were heart related.
More than 30,000 patients have taken Gilenya worldwide.
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