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Danger From Heart Surgery Drug Confirmed
Date:5/14/2008

"Future studies of drugs to prevent blood loss in cardiac surgery must be designed to look at death and other important clinical consequences, rather than only focusing on blood loss."

Another expert thinks the study starkly shows the dangers of Trasylol.

"This is yet another striking demonstration of the risk of aprotinin," said Dr. Eric J. Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute and dean of the Scripps School of Medicine.

Trasylol had been on the market since 1987 and was widely used.

The big questions remaining are "why it takes so long for the truth to come out? And how many patients were lost because of this misadventure in therapeutics?" Topol said.

Topol thinks there is enough blame to go around. "Did the clinical community accept it too readily? Was the manufacturer not willing to do the appropriate trials?" he asked.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is also very high on the blame list, Topol said. "The FDA has to be considered part of the problem," he said. "Why weren't trials like this part of the early approval process, rather than getting the data many years later?"

More information

For more on heart bypass surgery, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.



SOURCES: May 12, 2008, teleconference with Dean A. Fergusson, University of Ottawa Centre for Transfusion Research, Canada; Paul C. Hebert, M.D., critical care physician, Ottawa Hospital, Canada; Wayne A. Ray, Ph.D., director, Division of Pharmacoepidemiology, and professor, preventive medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tenn.; Eric J. Topol, M.D., director, Scripps Translational Science Institute, and dean, Scripps School of Medicine, La Jolla, Calif.; Staci Gouveia, spokeswoman, Bayer HealthCare, Tarrytown, N.Y.; May 13, 2008,
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