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UK Medical Agency Concerned About Avandia

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London, UKAn investigation by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has found that the UK Commission on Human Medicines advised regulators in the UK to withdraw GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) diabetes drug Avandia from the market, because it believes the risks associated with the controversial medication outweigh the benefits. The recommendation was made in July.

The BMJ also found that a European panel that reviewed Avandia prior to its launch in Europe in 2000 had concerns then over the association of long-term health risks with Avandia, versus the benefits. According to a story in the Wall Street Journal, "the journal raised concerns about the quality of the data GlaxoSmithKline use to show Avandia didn't lead to increased heart problems compared with other diabetes drugs."

The European Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is currently reviewing data on Avandia in order to advise whether or not the drug should remain on the market, or carry additional warnings. The
FDA is currently debating the same issue, having convened a panel of experts to review data on Avandia earlier this summer, in an effort to decide whether or not the drug should remain on the market in the US.

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