FDA OKs drug to block infection after marrow transplant
TRENTON, N.J. — United States regulators have approved the first drug to prevent life-threatening infections in adults after a bone marrow transplant.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved on Wednesday the sales of Merck and Co.’s Prevymix (PREH’-vih-miss) to prevent infections with cytomegalovirus (sy-toe-MEG’-a-low-vy-rus), a common virus. It does not sicken most people, but strikes at least half of transplant patients, who are particularly vulnerable to infection. The virus can damage the eyes, lungs and other organs, trigger pneumonia, and even cause death.
Merck, which is based in Kenilworth, New Jersey, said the drug would cost $195 to $270 per day for 100 days.
Each year, about 8,500 Americans receive transplants of blood-forming cells from bone marrow to treat blood cancers or other blood disorders. Currently, they get antiviral therapy if they develop an infection, rather than a preventive treatment. /kga
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