New Indication for Procrit in Elective Surgeries

February 1, 1997

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.

RARITAN, NJ--Procrit (Epoetin alfa) has received marketing clearanceby the FDA for use in reducing the need for allogeneic blood transfusionsin anemic patients scheduled to undergo elective noncardiac, nonvascularsurgery. Patients should be at high risk for perioperative transfusionwith significant, anticipated blood loss. Procrit is not indicated foranemic patients who are willing to donate autologous blood.

Procrit, which is marketed by Ortho Biotech Inc and manufactured byAmgen Inc, is a genetically engineered version of erythropoietin, a glycoproteinthat stimulates the bone marrow to produce red blood cells. The agent isalso approved for use in the treatment of anemia associated with chemotherapyin 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 proceduresthat often involve blood loss requiring transfusions, including orthopedicprocedures such as hip and knee replacements.

It can be administered subcutaneously once weekly for three weeks beforesurgery and on the day of surgery, or as a daily subcutaneous dose for10 days before surgery, on the day of surgery, and for four days aftersurgery.