Defence and condemnation over diabetes drug

Thu, 31 May 2007
GlaxoSmithKline today entered headlines again, as their medical director fought to save the beleaguered diabetes drug Avandia. In opposition, the director of the Health Research Group called for the drug to be labelled as unsafe.

Dr. Ronald Krall, the medical director of one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, chose to answer critics in the form of a letter in the Lancet medical journal. He said that a large-scale, long-term medical study had show Avandia to be completely safe.

Avandia has been in and out of the news, and sales have crashed, since the New England Journal of Medicine published a study indicating its effect on the heart.

The director of the Health Research Group, Dr. Sidney Wolfe, had nothing but condemnation for the drug. He reportedly commented: "When they say it's safe and doesn't produce a heart-attack risk, I can understand that as a marketing strategy, but it does not accord with the facts. They're trying to counter the bad publicity their drug has gotten over the past couple of weeks."
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