The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have announced that the diabetes drug Avandia, which is also known as rosiglitazone, will not be sold in most pharmacies after November in the United States .
However, the bestselling type 2 diabetes treatment, developed by GlaxoSmithKline, will still be available through mail order from certain pharmacies, and for patients who are successfully using it and whose diabetes can’t be managed with another therapy or who do not want to take the alternative treatment of pioglitazone . In addition, people still wanting to take Avandia and doctors will need to take part in educational courses about the drug before it can be prescribed.
It was reported that sales of the drug had reached over USD3 billion and taken by more than 1 million people in the US by 2006. The next year, a study found that people taking Avandia had experienced a 40 per cent rise in the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke and death, at which point the FDA issued a black box warning on its label warning about the potential risks.
This had a profound effect on sales, with the numbers being prescribed the drug falling to just 119,000 by 2010. The withdrawal ordered by the agency also involves Avandamet (a treatment that contains rosiglitazone and metformin ) and Avandaryl (which combines rosiglitazone and glimepiride .)

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