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ESAs And Transfusions In Dialysis Patients: Watching For The Tipping Point

This article was originally published in The Pink Sheet Daily

Executive Summary

A study from the U.S. Renal Data System contributes to concerns that decreasing use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents like Amgen’s Epogen in dialysis patients can lead to a significant increase in the need for blood transfusions.

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Medicare To Track Transfusions In Dialysis Patients To Ensure Appropriate ESA Use

CMS proposes to monitor transfusions in patients with end-stage renal disease as a new Medicare quality measure aimed at ensuring erythropoiesis-stimulating agents like Amgen’s Epogen are not “underutilized.”

GAO Tracks Decline In ESA Use Following Regulatory Changes

A Government Accountability Office report finds that use of erthryopoiesis-stimulating agents in dialysis decreased 31% from 2007 to the end of 2011 after Medicare’s bundled dialysis payment was changed to include drugs and FDA revised dosing recommendations.

Medicare Proposes Changes To Target Hemoglobin Levels In ESRD Treatment

CMS aims at “retiring” the floor hemoglobin level of 10 g/dL and lowering the target upper level to 11 g/dL in its proposed rule for the Medicare Part B prospective payment system for treatment of end-stage renal disease, a move that could apply more pressure to Amgen’s erythropoiesis-stimulating agents franchise.

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