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GlaxoSmithKline – Avandia

Posted by shutah on May 22, 2007

The biggest-selling diabetes drug in the world dramatically increases the risk of heart attacks and death from heart problems, according to an analysis by a top cardiologist published online in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Millions of patients have been prescribed the pill, Avandia , since it was introduced eight years ago by drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline.

GlaxoSmithKline‘s own analysis of its diabetes drug Avandia showed that the medicine increased the risk of heart attacks by a third.

In premarket trading Monday, shares added 60 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $28.90.

And, this article in the Financial Times today ….

Glaxo on the defensive

Published: May 22 2007 13:41 | Last updated: May 22 2007 20:01

Need reminding why pharma companies run conservative balance sheets? Since Monday, shares in the UK’s GlaxoSmithKline have fallen almost 8 per cent, after a medical journal raised safety concerns about its second-best-selling diabetes drug, Avandia. Among other things, the findings suggested that it raised the risk of heart attack by 43 per cent, compared with other diabetic drugs.

Glaxo vigorously disputes the claims, although there have been rumblings about potential cardiovascular risks for years. That the market was taken by surprise highlights the sector’s vulnerability to blow-ups. And once detonated, criticism of the statistical significance of the data, or other studies showing different outcomes, tend to get lost in the clamour. The facts also risk becoming obscured by political point-scoring, as Democrats seize on every opportunity to bash the US Food and Drug Administration.

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