Meeting on the fate of diabetes drugs

Mon, 30 Jul 2007
Senior health advisers are set to meet this week in Washington. The aim of the gathering will be to decide whether controversial GlaxoSmithKline diabetes drug Avandia should continue to be sold on the US market. The decision is being made on account of media furore over a reported increased link between the drug and heart problems.

Avandia has been heavily in the media spotlight since a New England Journal of Medicine report in May blew the reputation of the drug wide open. They reported that Avandia caused an increased risk of heart attack.

The meeting on the drug will take place between two advisory panels that the Food and Drug Administration rely on. These are the Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee, and the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committtee.

The two authorities will consider whether Avandia is safe, and the FDA traditionally will follow their decision. For Glaxo, multiple millions are at stake.
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