Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Prominent Doctor Publishes Study Showing Heart Risk from Glaxo Diabetes Drug Avandia

Article in the Wall Street Journal -- Sequel for Vioxx Critic: Attack on Diabetes Pill: Glaxo Shares Plunge As Dr. Nissen Sees Risk To Heart From Avandia, by Anna WIlde Mathews.  Here's an excerpt:

An analysis linking the widely used diabetes drug Avandia to higher risk of heart attacks represents a serious blow to GlaxoSmithKline PLC and underscores how outside critics have been empowered to challenge big-selling drugs after the outcry over the withdrawn painkiller Vioxx.

Glaxo rang up more than $3 billion in world-wide sales of Avandia last year. Its share price fell more than 7% after the New England Journal of Medicine released the analysis by prominent cardiologist Steven Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic, who helped raise early safety concerns about Vioxx. The analysis suggested that people on Avandia have a 43% higher chance of suffering a heart attack.

Glaxo said it "strongly disagrees" with his conclusions, which come from a "meta-analysis" in which results from many trials are combined. Glaxo said data sources it considers more reliable suggest that Avandia is no riskier for the heart than other diabetes medications.

Here's a link to the related article in the New England Journal of Medicine -- Effect of Rosiglitazone on the Risk of Myocardial Infarction and Death from Cardiovascular Causes, by Steven E. Nissen, M.D., and Kathy Wolski, M.P.H.; and a link to the related New England Journal of Medicine editorial --
Rosiglitazone and Cardiovascular Risk, by Bruce M. Psaty, M.D., Ph.D., and Curt D. Furberg, M.D., Ph.D.   



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