The FDA's Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee last week voted 8-to-1 in favor of approval of Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s Panretin alitretinoin topical gel for AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma. But the one negative vote was an interesting one, coming as it did from Michael Marco, the AIDS representative on the panel.

Marco and his organization, the Treatment Action Group (TAG), argue that the rationale for using a topical medication - to get rid of skin lesions - is not fulfilled by Panretin, which produces erythema (rash) as a common side effect