HealthAlert(10):Diabetes Drug Banned

The Pill for diabetes, Avandia, had been the subject of several investigations with regards to its side-effects for many years. I had written about it a week or two ago Your Sugar or Your Heart. Its baffling though that the nation that consumes this medication the most fell short of a total ban.

The British Heart Foundation as well as the respected British Medical Journal(BMJ) have called for its ban and the European Union’s European Medical Agency  have introduced an outright ban.  This drug has been blamed by research studies as far back as 2007 to cause heart problems when taken by diabetic patients, but attempts to ban it have been painfully slow. While the FDA acknowledged that the drug led to a higher incidence of heart attacks since 2007,  its advisory panel in July this year stopped short of banning it with a split decision.

Why is the FDA reluctant to impose a ban? One can speculate, but the FDA statement on the matter claimed that there wasn’t enough data to kill a drug which it had already approved for sale. And ordering further studies to boost the data would be unethical, if not criminal. Anyway, the FDA is not known for banning a drug quickly, requiring watertight evidence before doing so (remember Cylert and Fen-Phen?).

For the public, the choice is simple. Stop using Avandia and switch to the myriad of other diabetic medications which are available and much less controversial.

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5 responses

  1. Thanks for the heads up, doc. I’ve been using metformin for four years now (dosage hiked from 500mg to 850mg recently) and I had considered this controversial drug after struggling to keep my blood sugar down. Better to have high blood sugar than a sudden heart attack!

    However, a diabetic friend of mine with the same problem licked it after using an insulin pen, a stab in the stomach once a day and he claims it did him wonders – blood sugar down to normal, better complexion and great peace of mind.

    What is your prognosis on this instrument?
    Doctor2008 replies: When you consider that diabetes is caused by lack of insulin or lack of response to insulin, it does make sense to add on the real stuff (insulin) than to use medications to reduce the sugar in the blood. But, for practical reasons, we use pills for the milder forms of diabetes and resort to insulin injections when the diabetes is severe.

  2. When big pharmas are involved, the FDA seems to be dragging its feet…..am just waiting for the day when an “Enron” blows up in the FDA’s face!

  3. Hi thanks for your informative news alert. I really did not know that news. Thanks again.

  4. Whoow you are on tv . Thanks for your information!

  5. saw u in tv,good information. Pls update me with your latest news?TKS

    Doctor2008: Just click on the RSS button or the E-mail in the right column.

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