The diabetes drug Avandia seems to be on the high wire. According to the Wall Street Journal the FDA is planning to shut down a study between the side effects of Avandia and Actos, another diabetes drug. Avandia has been in the news a great deal lately with thousands of lawsuits claiming that the drug wasn’t researched properly and that patients weren’t advised of the many side effects.
The study that the FDA is considering to stop is a safety study, so that fact that the FDA feels that the product isn’t safe enough to expose test patients to means that basically the FDA doesn’t feel that it is ethical to expose patients to the potential harm of this medication. Once the FDA stops the trial they are basically saying that the drug is unsafe and will then have to ask the manufacturer to quit producing the drug.
The makers of Avandia, GlaxoSmithKline claims that scientific evidence did not show that Avandia increased the risk of heart attack, and that it had been open in providing drug information. In the matter of Avandia the U.S. is coming in behind the Saudi Arabian FDA, which suspended Avandia for 6 months in that country claiming that the potential risks outweigh the benefits of the drug.
Avandia has been on the market as a diabetes medication since 1998, a recent Senate report shows that the FDA has been trying to obtain an Avandia recall since 2007. According to the report the manufacturer of the drug knew about the heart risks and serious side effects but did not warn consumers. A study in 2007 showed the relative risk of a heart attack while taking Avandia was increased by 43 percent or increased risk from 1 in 1000 to just under 2 in 1000.
While this information may be frightening, it is important that if you are an Avandia patient speak with your physician before stopping the drug. Your doctor will be able to advise you of the risks involved and help you choose another diabetic medication. Never make a decision to stop a prescribed drug on your own.