The Food and Drug Administration has removed its restrictions on usage of the type 2 diabetes drug Avandia.
Avandia, which is produced by GlaxoSmithKlein (GSK), is the brand name of the drug rosiglitazone. Avandia in a group of diabetes drugs known as Thiazolidinediones or TZDs. These drugs are known to work by improving insulin sensitivity but the wider effects on other parts of the body are still not so well understood.
Avandia was approved for use in America by the FDA in 1999 and became a widely prescribed medication for treating type 2 diabetes. In 2010, however, research showed that Avandia was associated with a significant rise in heart attacks. An analysis of 42 different studies showed a 43% increase in heart attacks and a 64% increase in death from cardiovascular disease.
Following the health scare, the FDA placed strong restrictions on the use of Avandia. Adding to the problems for GSK, the company were also found to be guilty of hiding test data that showed health concerns associated with Avandia.
Following an investigation into heart risks associated with the medication, the FDA has found no statistically significant rise in risk. The FDA used data from the Record study to investigate the health risks. The Record study was funded by GSK to assess and monitor heart risk into the drug. It is common practice for pharmaceutical companies to pay for the studies that assess the safety of their own drug treatments.

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