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New Indication for Procrit in Elective Surgeries

New Indication for Procrit in Elective Surgeries

RARITAN, NJ--Procrit (Epoetin alfa) has received marketing clearance by the FDA for use in reducing the need for allogeneic blood transfusions in anemic patients scheduled to undergo elective noncardiac, nonvascular surgery. Patients should be at high risk for perioperative transfusion with significant, anticipated blood loss. Procrit is not indicated for anemic patients who are willing to donate autologous blood.

Procrit, which is marketed by Ortho Biotech Inc and manufactured by Amgen Inc, is a genetically engineered version of erythropoietin, a glycoprotein that stimulates the bone marrow to produce red blood cells. The agent is also approved for use in the treatment of anemia associated with chemotherapy in nonmyeloid cancers, in zidovudine (AZT)-treated HIV-positive patients, and in patients with chronic renal failure.

Procrit is expected to be used in a variety of elective surgical procedures that often involve blood loss requiring transfusions, including orthopedic procedures such as hip and knee replacements.

It can be administered subcutaneously once weekly for three weeks before surgery and on the day of surgery, or as a daily subcutaneous dose for 10 days before surgery, on the day of surgery, and for four days after surgery.

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