Saturday, June 4, 2011

Avandia Lawsuit Cites Hidden Risk of Heart Attack

Along with a diet and exercise program and sometimes with one or more other medications Avandia has been marketed as drug to help treat type 2 diabetes (condition in which the body does not use insulin normally and, therefore, cannot control the amount of sugar in the blood).  But according to the Attorney General of South Carolina, GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Avandia, knew that the drug increases the risk of heart problems including a higher incidence of heart attacks.

Bloomberg Businessweek has the full article here.  Among other allegations the AG's complaint states in part:

"GSK did not just fail to disclose the potential cardiovascular risks Avandia posed, which include heart attacks and sudden cardiac death, it affirmatively represented that Avandia could reduce diabetics' cardiovascular risks," Wilson wrote. "GSK knew or should have known that these representations were not true and likely to deceive."

If this turns out to be true its just another lie in a long list of deceptions by pharmaceutical makers.  I have written about the same allegations against Johnson & Johnson and the steps they took to hide the tendon toxicity of Levaquin.  You can read my full blog post that links to other articles on Levaquin here.

The New England Journal of Medicine published the first study on the deleterious effects of Avandia in 2007.  Since that time sales of the drug have decreased but not stopped.  In response, GlaxoSmithKline rolled out new labels in February to indicate that Avandia is intended only for patients who cannot control their blood sugar with any other diabetes medication on the market.  While that's an improvement it still fails to alert patients of the risk they face in developing cardiac conditions as a result of taking the drug.

The suit in South Carolina combined with the NEJM's study provide ample grounds for those harmed by Avandia to bring lawsuits against GSK.  It's a shame these drugs, which, at their core, provide amazing health benefits are marred by side affects that pharma companies, in most instances, could have fixed but chose not to... all in the name of profits. Share this post :
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