Virus drugmaker fights pediatricians' new advice

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

CHICAGO (AP) — A drugmaker is clashing with pediatricians over new recommendations to limit use of a costly medicine for preventing serious lung problems in preemies and other high-risk children.

The dispute involves new American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines that say medical evidence shows the drug has limited benefits. The influential group says the drug is best suited for only very young preemies.

The drug is sold by MedImmune under the brand name Synagis (SIN'-uh-jis). MedImmune is fighting back with full-page newspaper ads that say the updated policy threatens the most vulnerable babies.

The drug is used to prevent problems linked with a common germ called RSV or respiratory syncytial (sin-SISH'-uhl) virus. Most kids get it but only mild cases with cold-like symptoms.

The new policy was published online Monday in Pediatrics.