Diabetes drug distribution suspended in Saudi Arabia

Tue, 23 Mar 2010
Distribution of GlaxoSmithKline diabetes drug Avandia has been suspended for six months in Saudi Arabia, as links to adverse cardiovascular effects are studied in more detail. The Saudi Food and Drug Authority made the decision, and called for the pharmaceutical company to provide further evidence before permanent removal.

Diabetes is a major problem in Saudi Arabia, particularly in the more developed areas such as Riyadh. According to the director of the SFDA national drug and poison center, Abdullah Al-Humaidan: "The SFDA Committee for Medicinal Products Registration has given the company six months to provide evidence as to why the drug should not be permanently removed from the Saudi market."

He went on to further outline concerns about the base chemical in Avandia, rosiglitazone. An is an oral diabetes medicine to help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar levels . As many as 27 per cent of Saudis suffer from diabetes, with the disease spreading at an alarming rate.
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