Expert Panel Recommends Not Pulling Avandia Off Shelves

The FDA was hoping to end the debate over whether Avandia was too dangerous to sell to diabetics.

The drug has been under fire since 2007 when the first research emerged showing an increased risk of heart attacks in diabetics who took it.

So a panel of experts was convened to decide Avandia's future, and today it recommended keeping the controversial drug on the market.

It’s just a recommendation but the FDA usually follows the expert's advice, but while a majority did vote to keep Avandia on the market, a third of the panelists also voted to withdraw Avandia altogether.

Avandia was GlaxoSmithKline's 3rd best selling drug in 2006. Safety concerns have slashed sales by 75 percent.

Patients like Frank Squires who never had a problem with Avandia have been taken off the drug by worried doctors.

“I think he did it reluctantly,” said Squires.

His physician Dr. Stanley Mirsky says there is another diabetes drug that works just as well if not better than Avandia. It’s called Actos.

“There is a greater incidence in most of the studies in heart failure in heart disease with Avandia , compared to Actos,” said Mirsky.

While the panel didn't recommend pulling Avandia, it did agree that the drug does increase the risk of heart attack.


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