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Feb 16, 2010 12:22 PM by Associated Press

FDA asks Amgen, J&J to discuss anemia drug risks

Amgen and Johnson & Johnson will do more to publicize the safety risks of their anemia drugs for cancer patients, under an agreement reached with government regulators.

The risk management plan developed with the Food and Drug Administration is the latest government action to target the blockbuster biotech drugs.

Amgen and J&J will be required to register each cancer doctor who prescribes their drugs and document that they have discussed the drugs' risks before prescribing them to patients.

The plan applies to Amgen's Aranesp and Epogen and Johnson & Johnson's Procrit.

The three medicines are multibillion dollar products because of their ability to reduce the need for blood transfusions. But recent studies show they can also cause tumor growth.

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