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Diabetes Drug Tied to Heart Risks
Monday May 21, 12:54 pm ET
By Marilynn Marchione, AP Medical Writer
Diabetes Drug Avandia Raises the Risk of Heart Attacks, Study Suggests
A new analysis Monday reported the widely prescribed diabetes drug Avandia is linked to a greater risk of heart attack and possibly death.
More than 6 million people worldwide have taken the drug sold by London-based GlaxoSmithKline PLC since it came on the market eight years ago. Pooled results of dozens of studies revealed a 45 percent higher risk of heart attack, according to the analysis published online by the New England Journal of Medicine.
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The report on the risks of the diabetes drug follow Glaxo's $2.5 million settlement of a lawsuit filed by former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer over the release of data on the safety and effectiveness of its drugs. Spitzer, now New York governor, accused Glaxo of fraudulently withholding some results of studies that had examined the safety of prescribing the antidepressant Paxil to children.
Several experts said Avandia was another Vioxx-like example of the U.S. government failing to detect a safety problem until after millions of people had taken a drug. Vioxx was a blockbuster arthritis medicine until it was withdrawn in 2004 when heart problems came to light.
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