June 11, 2013
If enough people raise their voices in protest, we can prevent it. Action Alert!
Remember the controversial diabetes drug Avandia? In 2010 we told you about two FDA drug safety reviewers who warned the agency that Avandia posed serious risks of heart attack and heart failure when compared with other diabetes drugs. Since then, the drug has been removed from the market in most countries and has been under severe restrictions in the US.
Last Thursday, in a combined meeting of separate FDA advisory committees, 20 of 26 panelists voted to recommend removing or modifying Avandia’s highly restrictive label and distribution system. Five voted to keep the restrictions in place, while one panelist voted to remove the product from the market altogether.
There has been only one large, randomized trial for the safety of rosiglitazone, the drug that is marketed as Avandia. That trial—sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the drug’s manufacturer—was called RECORD (Rosiglitazone Evaluated for Cardiac Outcomes and Regulation of Glycaemia in Diabetes). Serious flaws were found in RECORD’s methodology, its results were questioned, and the trial was widely discredited.