Glaxo little affected by diabetes drug warning

Fri, 06 Jan 2006
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration), the regulatory board for all drugs in America, including diabetes drugs, has warned that a GlaxoSmithKline Plc diabetes drug may be linked to rear-eye swelling. However, analysts have indicated that the findings will not cause a major slump in sales, and will probably not impact on the corporation very hard.

The drugs act on the body to facilitate the ingestion of insulin, and help diabetes sufferers who still produce insulin to maximise its own use.

The rare condition, about which the FDA have received a limited number of reports of the swelling, is medically termed a ‘macular oedema.’ The reports have come from diabetes sufferers taking the popular and profitable drug Avandia. The FDA also warns that the drugs Avandamet and the soon-to-be released Avandaryl may also put patients at risk.

Macular Oedema appears to occur in those diabetics who are already suffering from diabetic retinopathy. This group constitutes some 10% of diabetics, and experts suggested that this is the only group who may stop taking Avandia or Avandamet. Combined sales of the two drugs in America are close to a billion pounds, with worldwide sales over and above this figure. The FDA warning came after a similar EMA (European Medical Agency) warning in December.

Experts did not foresee a particular decline in sales, and it is expected that GlaxoSmithKline will not be affected by the warnings.
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