Merck wins approval for long-delayed surgery revival drug


Save Story

Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health authorities have approved a new drug that helps patients recover from the numbing effects of certain surgical drugs.

The approval of Bridion marks a victory for Merck & Co. Inc., which had been seeking marketing clearance for the injectable medication for years.

Bridion is the first drug that reverses the effects of certain muscle-relaxing drugs given along with anesthesia during surgery. Patients treated with Bridion recovered faster from surgery than those who did not receive the drug, according to the FDA's review of studies involving 456 patients.

But the FDA first rejected the drug in 2008 due to allergic reactions and bleeding problems seen in some patients. The agency then repeatedly cancelled and rescheduled meetings to review the drug, most recently in March of this year.

The drug was approved in European Union countries in 2009.

The most common side effects seen in company trials included vomiting, pain, headache and low blood pressure. Rare severe allergic reactions and slow heart pumping were also recorded.

A spokeswoman for Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Merck said the drug would be available in January 2016.

Bridion was first developed by rival Schering-Plough Corp., which Merck acquired in November 2009 for roughly $41 billion.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Most recent Business stories

Related topics

Business
The Associated Press

    STAY IN THE KNOW

    Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the KSL.com Trending 5.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast