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New warning of cancer risk in arthritis drug

Johnson & Johnson will send a letter to doctors warning them that patients taking its rheumatoid arthritis drug Remicade may have a higher risk of lymphoma, a blood cancer, than those not taking the drug.
/ Source: Reuters

Johnson & Johnson will send a letter to doctors next Monday warning them that patients taking its rheumatoid arthritis drug Remicade may have a higher risk of lymphoma, a blood cancer, than those not taking the drug, the company said on Friday.

The warning, which will be added to the drug’s package insert, means the drug’s safety profile will more closely match that of rival drugs in the same class, Amgen Inc.’s Enbrel and Abbott Laboratories Inc.’s Humira.

The label will warn of a three-fold increase in the risk for rheumatoid arthritis patients taking the drug compared with the normal population, according to J&J’s Centocor unit.