Bayer suspends Trasylol sales

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Bayer is suspending global sales and marketing of its anti-bleeding drug Trasylol, amid evidence use of the drug may be linked to an increased risk of death in patients.
The drugmaker's decision follows requests from regulators in the US, Canada, Germany and other countries.

Trasylol, is designed to reduce blood loss in patients undergoing heart-bypass surgery to avoid transfusions.
Trasylol was approved in the US in 1993 and has been tied to safety concerns since 2006.
The drug has global sales of $338 million in 2005. Sales dropped by about a third last year.
Trasylol's safety entered the spotlight following the publication of a study in the New England Journal of Medicine in January 2006. The article stated the drug could be linked to a doubled risk of kidney failure, as well as increased risk of heart attacks, heart failure and strokes.

The authors stated "continued use is not prudent" and said two generic medications were safe alternatives. However, the study didn't involve patients being randomly assigned to take the drug.

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