Monday, 30 July 2007

Government panel recommends Avandia stay

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Earlier today I blogged about the Avandia advisory panel which met today. As of earlier today, the word was an FDA official, David Graham, had issued a written preview of the comments he intended to make. In it, Graham stated his view that GlaxoSmithKline's diabetes drug Avandia is dangerous and should therefore be removed from sale.

Now comes breaking news from the Associated Press that the panel will recommend, against the wishes of many - Dr. Graham included, that Avandia stick around. According to the AP, government health advisers have argued that, hey, sure Avandia may cause increased risk of heart attack, but let's just keep it out there. What?! As of writing, the AP was still waiting for a tally of how the panel voted on the issue, but word is a majority voted against recommending a ban.

The FDA's patient representative for the panel was quoted as saying studies indicating Avandia causes heart trouble "have very significant weaknesses and are inadequate for us to make that kind of decision." In short, the FDA seems to be saying Avandia causes heart damage, but the study-based proof is not strong enough for a ban. Talk about your contradictory messages! Baffled? Disgusted? Join the club.

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