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FDA Panel: Long-Used Osteoporosis Drug Too Risky

Some Benefit continued...

Kenneth Burman, MD, of Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., recommends calcitonin salmon be limited to certain patients and not taken off the market completely.

"I agree that this could be [used] in patients with certain diseases, such as [kidney] failure [and] blood clots and in elderly women or other people who are unable to take the other medications for osteoporosis that are available," he says.

"As a practicing clinician, there definitely are [groups] for whom this drug is of benefit," says Richard Bockman, MD, from the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

"In my own particular circumstance, these are patients with recent fractures who are basically [new to this treatment], in whom we have a definite feeling that current [alternative] therapies ... actually would interfere with healing. We like to see healing go forward, and calcitonin does not, in our hands, show any evidence for blocking healing," Bockman says.

The FDA does not have to follow the advice of its committees, but it usually does.

To see a version of this story for physicians, visit Medscape, the leading site for physicians and health care professionals.

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