After 15 deaths, regulators come down on heart-endangering drug
A multiple-sclerosis patient starts taking a drug and within 24 hours, they’ve died. Soon thereafter, it’s uncovered that 14 other patients taking the medication have died similarly of heart-related causes.
That’s the scary scenario that prompted U.S. and European regulators to launch a three-month investigation into the Novartis-manufactured multiple-sclerosis drug Gilenya. The findings of that investigation are now out: Regulators here and overseas are recommending that doctors no longer prescribe the medication to patients who have a history of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease or take heart-rate-lowering medication, as the drug might cause patients to experience heart-rhythm disorders or a temporary drop in heart rate.
Bloomberg News reports that Novartis made $494 million off Gilenya last year.
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