Diabetes drug stays on the market

Tue, 31 Jul 2007
Breaking news this morning is that the GlaxoSmithKline diabetes drug Avandia will stay on the US market . Avandia, which has faced major controversy over the last few months due to its association with an increased risk of heart attack, could have faced a blanket market ban.

Two of the principal advisory committees behind the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted to keep Avandia on the market. This is despite an increased evidence of heart attack amongst diabetic patients taking the drug. The voting stood 22 to 1, and the FDA are expected to follow the decision.

Glaxo made £1.4 billion in sales of the drug throughout the entire world last year, and will no doubt be celebrating the decision. Avandia is designed to make the body more sensitive to insulin. The thumbs up for Avandia came despite almost universal agreement that Avandia does show a ‘suggested’ risk of heart disease and death. Whether physicians will continue to prescribe the drug, and diabetics take it, remains to be seen.
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