A panel of federal health advisers has backed the benefits of an experimental diabetes drug that uses a new method to reduce blood sugar, setting aside previous concerns about the pill's safety.
The Food and Drug Administration panel voted 13-1 in favor of the drug from Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca, downplaying possible links to bladder cancer and liver toxicity. Concerns about those risks led the FDA to reject the drug in early 2012.
Dapagliflozin is a once-a-day pill designed to help diabetics eliminate excess sugar in their urine. That differs from older drugs that decrease the amount of sugar absorbed from food and stored in the liver.
Panelists said that 10 reports of bladder cancer reported in patients taking the drug were likely not caused by the drug.
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