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The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Issues Statement Regarding the Status of Iclusig (Ponatinib)

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Nov. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is aware of the FDA's decision requesting Ariad Pharmaceuticals to suspend marketing and sales of Iclusig (ponatinib), a therapy for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).  As suggested by the FDA, LLS encourages all patients currently receiving ponatinib to speak with their physician to discuss the risk and benefits of continuing treatment with the drug.  Those patients who are responding well to ponatinib, and who are not eligible for therapeutic alternatives, may be able to obtain ponatinib on a compassionate use basis, but need to speak with their oncologists immediately.

We are here to advise patients how the recent news applies to them and what discussions to have with their physicians.  Patients can contact LLS's Information Resource Center at 1-800-955-4572, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

LLS recognizes the need and urgency for new treatments for CML.  In 2013, we committed $1.7 million to CML research ranging from basic science to clinical research on how best to use new therapies.

"The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society exists to find cures and ensure access to treatments for blood cancer patients," said Mark Velleca, MD, PhD, chief policy and advocacy officer for LLS.  "As such, we felt it was important to comment on this important access issue.  Working with CML physicians and other advocacy groups, we have requested that FDA facilitate continued access to ponatinib for certain patients – such as those in blast crisis – for whom interruption of therapy could be extremely detrimental."

About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ® (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care.  

Founded in 1949 and headquartered in White Plains, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit Patients should contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

Contact: Andrea Greif
(914) 821-8958

Scott Orstad
(914) 821-8873

SOURCE The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
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