Patients who take a popular prescription for Type 2 Diabetes have been waiting through testimony on Capitol Hill Monday to hear if the FDA would yank Avandia from the market.
Monday night, you can score one for the makers of that drug. The FDA says it can stay on the market. This, after a recent study at the Cleveland Clinic, showed that the drug could greatly increase the risk of heart attacks.
"When we put it all together, put all their 42 studies together, we found a 43 percent higher risk of heart attack in patients who got Avandia compared to those who got other anti-diabetes drugs," said Dr. Steven Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic.
So Monday, one of the FDA's own doctors suggested to a panel of experts the drug be pulled from the market. However, Glaxosmithkline argued there is no clear evidence of a heart attack risk. Even the American Diabetes Association agreed that Avandia should still be available because it is helping about a million patients in the U.S.
Government advisors decided Avandia should stay on the market, but there will likely be changes coming on the label and patients should discuss with their doctors their individual risk.