ESAs And Transfusions In Dialysis Patients: Watching For The Tipping Point
This article was originally published in The Pink Sheet Daily
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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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.”
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.
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.