Monday, February 22, 2010

More FDA Troubles

Has anyone missed the news reports in the past week about the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and Avandia? It's just the latest chapter in the FDA's troubled attempts to regulate safety in prescription drugs.

This episode involves the diabetes medication Avandia from GlaxoSmithKline. The flap was ignited by reports linking it to 304 deaths in the 3rd quarter of 2009. The New York Times reported that if every patient taking Avandia were to switch to a similar drug called Actos about 500 heart attacks and 300 cases of heart failure would be averted every month. Naturally the manufacturer continues to claim that the drug is safe since sales were $3.2 billion in 2006.

Meanwhile more trials are underway while the FDA continues to abdicate its responsibility to protect the health of Americans. The current TIDE study isn't even scheduled to be completed until 2020. How many thousands will die as a result of this bureaucratic ineffectiveness?

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