Avandia, a Drug for Diabetes, Another Vioxx?

Reminiscent of Vioxx, which Merck pulled off the market in 2004 after it was shown to cause heart attacks in some patients, an analysis to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that Avandia, a widely used pill to treat adult-onset, or Type 2, diabetes, raises the risk of heart attack by 43 percent.

Over a seven-year period, taking Avendia raises the chance of a diabetic having a heart attack from 20.2 to 28.8 percent, meaning that possibly tens of thousands of people had heart attacks as a result of taking the medication. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has advised that patients not discontinue taking Avandia on their own, but that they first discuss the situation with their doctor. Of particular concern is that for six months the F.D.A. has known of the increased cardiac risk, which was reported in an analysis submitted to it by the manufacturer of Avandia, GlaxoSmithKline. Questions have been raised as to why diabetics and their doctors have not already been notified of Avandia’s substantial risk to the heart, and as to whether the finding further highlights flaws in the nation’s drug approval and monitoring system.

GlaxoSmithKline, in a news release, defended Avandia’s safety and its medical benefits, contending that the New England Journal of Medicine article was based on incomplete evidence. Avandia is known generically as rosiglitazone. Another alternative to Avandia is a medication called Actos, which works by a similar mechanism to Avandia and has been shown to have a superior cardiovascular risk profile.

Whether there will be a flux of lawsuits by attorneys in New York and elsewhere to recover for injuries allegedly caused by Avandia remains to be seen. If you believe that you have been harmed by a dangerous drug, please contact our office to speak with a personal injury attorney who will try to help. The personal injury lawyers at Levine & Slavit have decades of experience in handling personal injury claims involving dangerous and defective products .

If you or someone close to you has been injured by a drug that was not properly labeled, contact the offices of Levine & Slavit in for their help. Levine & Slavit has offices in Manhattan and Long Island, handling cases in New York City, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and surrounding areas including Westchester County.

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