Will Doctor Tell Fresenius Kabi AG "I Told You So?"

Published: Nov 30, 2012

File this under ‘doth protest too loudly.’ Last summer, Fresenius Kabi got into a spat with a Danish professor after he and several colleagues published a paper in The New England Journal of Medicine that concluded its hydroxyethyl starch treatment for sepsis may cause kidney failure and hemorrhages that may lead to patient death. The drugmaker reportedly threatened a lawsuit after Anders Perner, a professor at the Intensive Therapy Clinic at the Copenhagen University Hospital, also told ScienceNordic starch should not be used to treat sepsis. Fresenius later denied threatening litigation, a prospect that raised concern over academic freedom, and noted the paper was subsequenlty corrected to indicate the treatment in the study was actually made by a rival company. At the time, Perner declined to discuss the episode, other than to say the “imprecision” in the article was corrected. Now, though, the researcher may have the last laugh. The European Medicines Agency has decided to review hydroxyethyl-starch-containing solutions for infusion due to “safety concerns that have been raised following the publication of recent studies comparing HES with other volume expanders in critically ill patients with severe sepsis,” according to an EMA statemen.

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