Diabetes groups warn against Avandia

American and European diabetes associations are jumping on the anti-Avandia bandwagon. In their new consensus statement on treatment protocols, the American Diabetes Association and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes are urging docs to use caution when prescribing drugs for type 2 diabetes. The statement cites "additional hazards" from using the thiazolidedione class of meds, which includes Actos and Avandia, and cites the risk of heart attack from "rosiglitazone (Avandia) in particular."

The associations are just the latest in a queue of groups casting a jaded eye on GlaxoSmithKline's Avandia. A few weeks ago, Health Canada set out a series of restrictions on Avandia use. Last month, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs dropped the drug from its formulary; before that, the VA had accounted for 8 percent of Avandia's U.S. sales. Overall, sales of the drug have dropped 48 percent since news of its link to heart problems began to emerge.

And then there's Glaxo's black eye. A Congressional committee last week concluded that company executives--including CEO Jean-Pierre Garnier and former research helmsman Tachi Yamada--tried to intimidate a diabetes expert into keeping quiet about Avandia's safety problems.

- check out this report for more

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