Drug Company Nemesis Strikes Again

Crusading cardiologist took on Vioxx, now Avandia, for heart risks
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2007 1:32 PM CDT
Steven Nissen, M.D. poses at the 56th Annual American College of Cardiology Conference Scientific session in New Orleans, Monday, March 26, 2007. (AP Photo/Judi Bottoni)   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – The doctor who helped to raise concerns about the painkiller Vioxx is back—with the study released earlier this week linking the same company's popular diabetes drug, Avandia, to higher risk of heart attacks. The Wall Street Journal looks at 58-year-old cardiologist Steven Nissen's role in identifying and publicizing drug risks.

Nissen's study is a meta-analysis of data from earlier studies on Avandia he found with a Google search. The results of other studies had been posted by the company, GlaxoSmithKline, itself, after earlier accusations that it withheld negative information. The FDA is not taking action on the drug until it completes its own analysis.