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Curtains for anti-bleeding drug Trasylol

The New England Journal of Medicine released findings on Wednesday that appear to confirm higher mortality rates for Trasylol.

  The most expensive of three drugs used to control bleeding, Trasylol (aprotinin), manufactured by A.G. Bayer, was pulled from the market in 2006 after it was linked to a higher mortality rate among heart surgery patients and to increased risk of stroke, heart attack and kidney failure.  It was originally approved in 1993, and Bayer had hoped that the new study might result in Trasylol returning to the market (after all, anything goes for the pharmaceutical industry with a Republican administration, apparently). 

   Instead, the most recent study results confirm that Trayslol increased the chance of death by 54 percent, when compared with the older, cheaper drugs.  Six percent of patients receiving the drug died within 30 days of surgery, compared with 4 percent of patients treated with Amicar or Cyklokapron.  Experts said Trasylol is unlikely to be approved for medical care now, and may not even be approved for any form of research.  The results of the study reported Wednesday were so dramatic that the study could not be continued---as it would have been unethical to assign patients to the higher-risk Trasylol group.

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