Avandia, Actos don't boost death risk

Teva's timing may, in fact, be pretty good: A new study in this week's Lancet shows that while Avandia and its counterpart/rival Actos do boost the risk of heart failure, they don't increase the risk of death from cardiac problems. Study researchers say they wanted to clarify the risks so that doctors could choose which patients should get one of these drugs and which should opt out.

This study follows the now infamous Nissen study, published in June in the New England Journal of Medicine, which indicated that Avandia increased the likelihood of heart attack and death. The Lancet researchers said they analyzed data from trials that had all been peer-reviewed and published, whereas Nissen relied in part on unpublished work.

But also in today's Lancet is an editorial pushing an idea newly in vogue, but quite commonsensical--that diabetes drugs shouldn't be judged just on their effects on blood sugar, but on their ability to combat the effects of the disease.

- see the study abstract from The Lancet
- read the article from the Boston Globe