Avandia: The Killer Drug Costing Countless Lives

| January 17, 2013
Avandia

Avandia: GSK officials knew about the heart risks associated with the drug for more than a DECADE!

83,000 heart attacks. That’s the amount of heart attacks the American Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) own scientists say Avandia is associated with…

Avandia is the infamous blockbuster diabetes drug that was banned from the UK and European Union (EU) back in September 2010, after it was found that the risks associated with Avandia outweighed the benefits…

Sadly, it took 10 years before the medical authorities finally admitted that this drug no longer had a place in the UK and European market. That’s 10 years too many in which this Avandia, dubbed ‘The Killer Drug’, wreaked havoc with its devastating side effects.

In 2003, Agora Health was among the first to report a link between Avandia and an increased risk of congestive heart failure. In 2007, the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) made headlines with a study that illustrated just how expansive this danger really is and how an increased risk of suffering a heart attack is only one part of Avandia’s risk profile.

Astonishingly, the drug stayed on the market despite the findings of a report in 2007 – published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) – that demonstrated it was killing around 19 per cent of patients, and was causing non-fatal heart problems in a further 8 per cent.

In 2008, a segment of a major type 2 diabetes trial was halted when the number of deaths (257) in the aggressive intervention group far exceeded deaths (203) in the standard care group. One of the drugs used in the aggressive care group was Avandia… at that point, the consensus was that Avandia was not to blame for the deaths in the trial…

In 2009, it was revealed that the UK’s biggest drugs company, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) – the pharmaceutical giant behind Avandia, tried to intimidate independent scientists and deliberately misrepresented medical data to deny safety concerns over their top-selling diabetes treatment, Avandia.

Yet, when Avandia was finally banned in the UK and Europe, GSK struggled to see what the big kafuffle was all about. Could it be because in the same year that the drug was linked to 304 deaths it also turned global profits well-over £771 million? Knowing by which hand Big Pharma plays, it certainly reeks of ‘Profit before Patients’!

Back in 2010, the FDA also produced a report which showed that over a decade, 48,000 people experienced stroke, heart failure, or death because they used Avandia… That’s almost 5,000 people a year, who suffered adverse side-effects or death at the hands of GSK!

But wait, here’s the real kicker: GSK executives knew about Avandia’s heart risks and suppressed the data for more than a DECADE!

A decade! 5,000 people a year! And they kept their mouths shut!

In a 2001 internal GSK e-mail, one executive made this comment about a study that linked Avandia to serious heart problems: “These data should not see the light of day to anyone outside of GSK.”

Well luckily it did, even if it took 10 years!

Lesson to GSK executives: The truth will always come out…

Sadly, a decade’s worth of studies and proof of cover-ups by the manufacturers and regulators alike was not enough to get Avandia banned, for good, all across the world. The drug is still being prescribed in the US, however, doctors are cautioned not to prescribe Avandia when dealing with patients with a severe history of congestive heart failure.

Of course, killer drugs like Avandia may never see the light of day if pharmaceutical companies are forced to disclose all clinical trial data BEFORE their drugs hit the market…


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Stop Big Pharma… and help save thousands of lives.


Sources:

Avandia Still on the Market Despite Cardiac Deaths, by Debra Manzella, published online 22.02.10, diabetes.about.com

UK watchdog calls for Glaxo’s Avandia recall, by Andrew Jack, published online 06.09.10, ft.com

‘GSK vows to stick by controversial diabetes drug’ by Rob Davies, published online 06.09.10, dailymail.co.uk

“F.D.A. Panel Votes to Restrict Avandia” by Gardiner Harris, published online 07.14,10, nytimes.com

“Diabetes Drug Maker Hid Test Data, Files Indicate” by Gardiner Harris, published online 07.12.10, nytimes.com

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Category: Killer Drugs Banned

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