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FDA advises alternatives to paclitaxel-coated devices for PAD, pending review


“Alternative treatment options should generally be used for most patients,” rather than paclitaxel-coated balloons and stents for peripheral arterial disease (PAD), pending an ongoing safety review, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

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The FDA conducted a preliminary analysis of long-term follow-up data (up to 5 years in some studies) of the pivotal premarket randomized trials for paclitaxel-coated products indicated for peripheral arterial disease (PAD). In a Letter to Healthcare providers issued March 15, the FDA reported that their preliminary review of these data found “a potentially concerning signal of increased long-term mortality in study subjects treated with paclitaxel-coated products, compared to patients treated with uncoated devices.”

The three trials (totaling 975 patients) that had 5-year follow-up data demonstrated an approximately 50% increased risk of mortality in subjects treated with paclitaxel-coated devices vs. those treated with control devices (20.1% vs. 13.4% crude risk of death at 5 years), according to the agency.

The FDA indicated that these data “should be interpreted with caution for several reasons.” They cited a large variability in the risk estimate of mortality because of the limited amount of long-term data and pointed out that the studies were not designed to be pooled. In addition, the specific cause and mechanism of the increased mortality was unknown.

The FDA also announced that they are planning on convening an Advisory Committee meeting of the Circulatory System Devices Panel to address this issue, including plausible mechanisms for this mortality effect, a re-examination of the benefit-risk profile, modifications of current and future clinical trials regarding these devices, and guidance to any regulatory action, as needed. The timing of this meeting is to be announced within the upcoming weeks.

The FDA letter further stated that the agency intends to conduct additional analyses “to determine whether the benefits continue to outweigh the risks for approved paclitaxel-coated balloons and paclitaxel-eluting stents when used in accordance with their indications for use.”

SOURCE: Food and Drug Administration Letter to Healthcare Providers. 2019 Mar 15.

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