The diabetes medicine Avandia is withdrawn from the market.
According to its own statements, the European Union (EU) plans to withdraw the diabetes medicine "Avandia" from the pharmaceutical market. The reason for this are numerous side effects, some of which are severe, as the EU Medicines Agency EMA reports. Studies had repeatedly pointed out that Avandia could lead to cardiovascular complaints.
The European Medicines Agency plans to withdraw the drug “Avandia”, developed for diabetics. The drug always caused strong side effects, as it was said. The preparation "Avandia" from the pharmaceutical manufacturer "GlaxoSmithKline" is suspected of increasing the risk of a heart attack. British authorities had already ordered the drug to be stopped in early September. The European Union bases its step on the fact that leaving the drug with the active ingredient "rosiglitazone" is no longer responsible in a risk-benefit analysis. Because the risks would outweigh the benefits of the preparation.
Do not discontinue diabetes medication yourself
In the coming months, the drug will now disappear across the European Union. However, the EMA recommends that patients do not stop taking Avandia on their own. Rather, those affected should first talk to their doctor about possible alternatives. The drug agency warned patients against taking the drug on their own. This could have health consequences.
Financial slump for the Avandia manufacturer
For the pharmaceutical manufacturer "GlaxoSmithKline", this decision by the EU announced today is likely to be a financial setback. The Avandia drug is the most commonly prescribed medicine for diabetes, and around six million people worldwide use it. According to experts, the drug is the profit-making company of the pharmaceutical company. Because Avandia has brought the British manufacturer billions of profits in recent years. Because the national health authorities follow the recommendations of the EU, the group faces severe losses. As “GlaxoSmithKline” announced, they no longer wanted to advertise the drug. Most recently, around 1.2 billion euros a year had been raised by selling sales. Experts also suspect that the company has to prepare for complaints from patients, as the pharmaceutical manufacturer has reportedly known about the side effects and risks for three years.
Avandia only in exceptional situations
The drug is also criticized worldwide. Severe circumcisions are also planned in the USA. Avandia should only be prescribed in exceptional situations when other medications no longer produce the desired effects. In Great Britain, the drug was withdrawn from the market in early September. "Ten years after the release of rosiglitazone, we still cannot estimate exactly what risks we are exposing our patients to," criticized John Yudkin from University College London. Investigations at the time would have shown that the active ingredient "rosiglitazone" can reduce a blood sugar value (glycohemoglobin HbA1c), which is important for diabetics, by around one percent, but the long-term consequences were neglected, said Yudkin.
Most commonly used drug worldwide
Around six million people worldwide take the drug regularly. Avandia is used in type II diabetes. Health experts have been criticizing the numerous side effects for years. According to reports, water retention, heart failure and increased broken bones can occur in women. The risk of heart attack also increases. So far, the drug has been prescribed because the risk of hypoglycaemia is lower for patients than for other drugs and it can also be combined with other so-called antidiabetic agents.
Lawsuits against the pharmaceutical manufacturer
Patients have already sued the company in the United States. Studies have shown that taking the drug can cause serious heart problems. According to the "New York Times", an internal US report had already recommended that the drug be withdrawn from the drug market immediately. In addition, according to the Times, the drug caused 304 deaths in the third quarter of 2009 alone. Two US senators accused the pharmaceutical company of having known about possible heart problems before 2007. According to media reports, the group agreed to make compensation payments totaling 460 million euros to the plaintiffs. According to the New York Times, around 10,000 patients filed a lawsuit against the company. Now the group must very likely prepare for European patients to start a lawsuit. (sb, 09/24/2010)
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