Diabetes Drug Ups Heart Risk

New study documents dangers of Avandia, but company nixes recall
By J. Kelman,  Newser User
Posted May 21, 2007 3:15 PM CDT
Diabetes Drug Ups Heart Risk
The company logo of GlaxoSmithKline, is seen on the headquarters building in London, in this May 10, 2006 file photo. GlaxoSmithKline PLC is expected to release quarterly earnings on Wednesday, April 25, 2007. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, file)   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – A popular diabetes drug may increase heart attack risks, a study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine concludes. Patients who took Avandia, which treats Type 2 diabetes, were 43% more likely to have a heart attack than those who took a placebo, the Cleveland Clinic study found.

GlaxoSmithKline says the findings are not definitive, and the company will not pull the drug, prescribed to 2 million people each year, from the market. Nor will the FDA step in at this point, the agency says. But the New York Times reports that the company's own trial showed a 66% increase in heart attacks in patients taking Avandia, and a 20% spike in their risk of death from cardiovascular problems. (Read more GlaxoSmithKline stories.)

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