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Diabetes drug Avandia banned

Published on 24/09/2010
People with private medical cover will no longer be offered the drug Avandia as part of a healthcare plan to treat diabetes.

After years of debate, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced it is suspending the drug's licence.

The GlaxoSmithKline product was launched ten years ago as a way to reduce blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes.

However, concerns have been raised that the active ingredient in the pills, rosiglitazone, can cause heart disease.

While it has always been known that the drug is linked with an increased risk of heart failure, it had previously been claimed that the benefits outweigh the risks.

But the EMA says that recent research has added to the knowledge about the drug and shown it to have a greater link with heart disease than first thought.

"The Committee therefore concluded that the benefits of rosiglitazone no longer outweigh its risks and recommended the suspension of the marketing authorisation of the medicines," said the EMA.

At almost the same time as the EMA decision, its American counterpart the US Food and Drug Administration announced it was placing stringent restrictions on the use of the drug, although it will not be banned completely.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010


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