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Avandia Side Effects Draw Concern From Senate

March 25, 2010

Avandia Side Effects Draw Concern From Senate

Last month, a U.S. Senate report forced Avandia back into the spotlight with allegations that GlaxoSmithKline was deliberately covering up the adverse side effects of the drug. The report accused the company of deceiving the FDA and pressuring professionals into declaring support of the medication. The report also revealed that several drug reviewers for the FDA have been advising a recall of the drug since 2007.

Thousands of lawsuits surrounding Avandia’s side effects are currently open against GlaxoSmithKline. Former users of the drug are asserting that the company did not provide significant warnings about the possible adverse effects of the medication. The federal Avandia litigation has recently been consolidated into a Multidistrict Litigation. The first trials will begin sometime later this year.

Avandia is a diabetes drug manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. The drug was accused of increasing the consumer’s risk of heart attacks and other medical problems, but a large number of medical experts and members of the scientific community came to the defense of the medication. It was discovered recently that those defending the drug had hidden financial links with the drug’s manufacturers.

The Mayo Clinic has released a study that analyzed more 200 documents, papers, and letters that were released after the 2007 study linking Avandia to increased heart attacks. The study reveals that the doctors and scientists who defended the drug were frequently financially connected to GlaxoSmithKline or similar pharmaceutical companies.

The FDA approved Avandia in 1998 as a treatment option for type-2 diabetes. The drug works by controlling the blood sugar levels in diabetic individuals. The drug is extremely popular among diabetics; however, sales plunged over concerns regarding the drug’s adverse side effects. Between 1999 and 2006, it is estimated that the drug has caused 60,000 to 200,000 heart attacks and deaths related to cardiovascular problems.

The Mayo Clinic reviewed over 200 documents that addressed the side effects associated with Avandia. Of these 200 papers, 31 scientists and medical professionals were in favor of the use of Avandia. It was discovered that 27 of the 31 professionals with positive opinions regarding the drug were financially tied to GlaxoSmithKline. The researchers discovered that about a quarter of the documents had conflicts of interest that were undeclared.

In May 2007, Avandia was first criticized for its potential ties to heart attacks and cardiovascular related deaths. The New England Journal of Medicine compiled an analysis of 42 clinical trials that indicated a 43 percent increased risk of heart attack in users of Avandia.

If you or a loved one has experienced health complications or illness while using Avandia or related drugs, contact Newsome Law Firm and fill out a case evaluation form today. Our team of attorneys has experience specific to complications associated with prescription medication. Not only can they give you the legal guidance you need, they can help you get the compensation you deserve.

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