While concern over the medical risks of popular diabetes drug Avandia® grows, national media outlets are turning to attorney Mark Lanier to put the legal issues surrounding the drug in perspective.
On the same day that a federal drug advisory board recommended keeping Avandia® on the market despite documented accounts that the drug increases risks of cardiac arrest, Mr. Lanier commented on the drug’s risks for a nationally broadcast CBS Evening News report on Avandia®.
In the interview, Mr. Lanier said GlaxoSmithKline has not been forthcoming about Avandia’s risks.
“In this case, GlaxoSmithKline was sending sales reps out to doctors’ offices telling doctors it was cardio-protective, telling them it helped the heart, when the truth was the opposite” Mr. Lanier said.
In May, the New England Journal of Medicine reported a link between Avandia® (known generically as rosiglitazone) and an increased risk of heart attacks compared with other diabetes drugs or placebos. The report was based on an analysis of more than 40 existing clinical studies.
On July 30, federal Food and Drug Administration scientist David Graham recommended removing Avandia® from the market because of the drug’s heart attack risks. Despite the recommendation, a federal drug advisory committee voted to keep Avandia® on the market.