Cancer Drug Kills Four Times More than No Treatment at All

Drugmaker Pfizer is pulling mylotarg, a decade-old leukemia medicine, off the U.S. market after a study found a higher death rate and no benefit for patients.

Mylotarg won approval under an abbreviated process. Medicines cleared in that way have to pass follow-up tests to confirm they work.  The FDA asked Pfizer to withdraw the drug after a recent clinical trial raised concerns about the product's safety and clinical benefits.

Reuters reports:

“The trial ... showed more deaths in the first couple months of treatment. The fatality rate was 5.7 percent for Mylotarg patients, compared with 1.4 percent without the drug, Pfizer said.  Mylotarg is the first drug approved under the FDA's abbreviated process to be withdrawn for failing to show effectiveness, agency officials said.”

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