The beleaguered diabetes drug Avandia, manufactured by major diabetes treatment company GlaxoSmithKline, could face further media furore and shunning over new claims that it can cause bone fractures amongst women and men. The news follows a recent report by the New England Journal of Medicine that Avandia greatly increases the risk of heart disease and death. Avandia sales, already slumped, could spiral downwards even further.
Although to many Glaxo may seem invincible, Avandia is one of the cornerstones of their company . Total sales in 2006 exceeded $3.2billio, which accounted for 7 per cent of the total revenue.
Despite attempts by Glaxo to play down the findings due to low patient numbers and restrospective analysis, analysts say that the new data will damage the company further. The future, experts predict, is likely to require major labelling of risks to keep Avandia alive.
The study was published in the journal Diabetes Care. This is the first trial that provides evidence of a risk amongst both women and men. Glaxo maintain that the benefits of Avandia outweigh the risks.

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