FDA warns makers of acid reflux drug to change warning label

salix pharmaceuticals 150x150 FDA warns makers of acid reflux drug to change warning labelThe Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has fired off a warning letter to drug maker Salix Pharmaceuticals arguing that some of its marketing materials for Metozolv, an orally dissolving form of metoclopramide for the treatment of acid reflux conditiosn, “are false or misleading because they omit and minimize risk information, broaden the indication of Metozolv ODT, and contain unsubstantiated comparative and other claims.”

The letter goes on to say that “these violations are concerning from a public health perspective because they suggest that Metozolv ODT is safer and more effective than has been demonstrated by substantial evidence or substantial clinical experience, and encourage use in circumstance other than those for which the drug has been shown to be safe and effective.”

The FDA approved Metozolv in September for the treatment of GERD, gastroparesis, and other acid reflux conditions. It is the first fast-dissolving version of metoclopramide, a drug also known by the brand name Reglan. Its projected annual sales could reach $50 million.

Last year the FDA ordered a black box warning be placed on Reglan after numerous reports of a serious involuntary movement disorder known as Tardive Dyskinesia developing in patients who took Reglan. The same black box warning was to be placed on Metozolv when it became available in the U.S. However, upon review, the FDA says Salix fell short of adequately warning patients of the risks associated with Metozolv.

The FDA is ordering Salix to immediately stop the dissemination of the violative promotional materials for Metozolv and to submit a written response to its warning letter explaining how the company will comply with the agency’s request. Failure to correct the violations could result in regulatory action, including seizure or injunction without further notice.