Avandia On Trial

Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - 8:29am

Avandia, one of the most commonly used drugs for Type II Diabetes, goes on trial again today.

A Food and Drug Administration panel will decide whether the medication is safe enough to remain on the market.

Questions about an increased risk of heart attack remained unanswered for at least three years.

Dr. Steven Nissen from the Cleveland Clinic was among the first to raise the alarm.

"For death, stroke, or heart attack there was a 44 percent increase in those patients that took Avandia," says Dr. Nissen.

Dr. Nissen is not only critical of the drug, but the Food and Drug Administration itself

"The very people that approved the drug in the first place are the ones that have to decide when to take it off the market," he says.

In February a Senate committee concluded the drug maker knew of the risks for a number of years.

GlaxoSmithKline says the company has conduced six clinical trials since 2007 and found Avandia does not increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, or death.

When this question was last raised in 2007 the FDA panel voted 22-1 to keep the drug on the market, but with stronger warnings.

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