Monday, March 1, 2010

Update on Avandia

A few days ago I posted that GlaxoSmithKline has released a 30-page rebuttal to the U.S. Senate report that accused the company of intentionally trying to conceal potential heart problems with Avandia. Here is another article commenting on Glaxo's document (the title probably gives you an idea of its conclusion): Glaxo Strikes Back at Drug Critics, But It's a Big Swing and a Miss. The article states that "The company cites nine studies . . . and makes the case that none of them showed significant risks of various types of heart problems. At first glance it seems convincing. But, as always, the devil is in the details. If you read the studies themselves — rather than GSK’s summary of them — you find that . . . [s]even of them showed either that there were some increased side effects in patients taking Avandia, including heart attacks, or that Avandia wasn’t as effective as other treatments." Meanwhile, Pharmalot is reporting that according to a story in The San Jose Mercury News, Santa Clara County in California has filed what appears to be the first governmental lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline over links between its Avandia diabetes bill and cardiovascular risks, namely heart attacks. The suit charges Glaxo falsely advertised the pill and concealed risks, and seeks compensation on behalf of patients and providers. Go here for the Pharmalot story. Go here for the San Jose Mercury News story. UPDATE (3/2/10): Here is a link to a similar story in UPDATE (3/3/10): Story in

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