Bristol-Myers Squibb to halt manufacturing of antibiotic Tequin

Bristol-Myers Squibb said Monday it plans to stop making its antibiotic Tequin following questions about its effects on blood sugar levels in some patients. A Bristol-Myers Squibb spokesperson told the Associated Press the company would return the rights to the drug to Kyorin Pharmaceutical Company in Japan. In February, the FDA required increased warnings on the label of Tequin. The manufacturer has warned that it should not be used by diabetics and said the elderly and those with kidney disease are more likely to have problems. Bristol-Myers Squibb said although it will stop making the drug, stocks currently available are not being recalled. The company has asked patients using Tequin not to discontinue its use until they talk with their physician about an alternative. The consumer group Public Citizen on Monday petitioned the FDA for a ban on the product. In its petition, Public Citizen said there have been 388 patients with blood sugar irregularities associated with the drug, including 20 deaths and 159 hospitalizations since Jan. 1, 2000. Tequin had $150 million in global sales in 2005, with $100 million of those sales in the US.