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The antidepressant drug Cymbalta has been recommended for approval to ease chronic back pain in some patients by a US medical advisory panel.
The Eli Lilly and Co drug has been backed by a US Food and Drug Administration panel of outside advisers after a number of votes. The panel voted in favour of the drug’s wider use but was divided on whether it effectively treated osteoarthritis and lower-back pain.
Its use for back pain was approved by eight votes to five, however it was found there was not enough evidence to support its use to treat osteoarthritis, with the panel voting nine to four against.
Panel chairman and head of anaesthesiology at Oregon Health and Science University Jeffrey Kirsch said: “I think it will be a very useful drug for a significant number of patients.”
Cymbalta has already been cleared to treat anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia and diabetes-related pain, but the drugmaker is seeking US approval to widen its market.
Copyright Press Association 2010