About $3 billion dollars worth of Avandia is sold each year by the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. It’s the biggest-selling diabetes medication in the world, despite its dangers.
Heart Attacks, Strokes, and Heart-Related Deaths
Heart attacks, strokes, and deaths due to heart problems have been linked to Avandia in studies that indicate a significant association between the drug and cardiovascular events. A meta-analysis of 42 Avandia studies showed that diabetic patients treated with Avandia have a 37% greater likelihood of developing heart problems compared to patients treated with another medication or a placebo.
The lead author of the meta-analysis, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in May 2007, is Dr. Steven Nissen, the cardiologist and prominent drug safety advocate who was an early critic of the painkiller Vioxx, a drug removed from the U.S. market in 2004.
Thousands of Patients Injured
In a New York Times report regarding the analysis, Dr. Nissen estimated that “tens of thousands of people” have had heart attacks as a result of taking Avandia. What’s even worse is that Glaxo appears to have known about the increased cardiovascular risks of Avandia, but chose not to make that information widely known to consumers.
Drug Maker Knew the Risks
When Glaxo declined to take part in Dr. Nissen’s meta-analysis of Avandia studies, Nissen and his co-author scoured the Glaxo website and found the company’s own study confirming a 31% increase in heart attack risk. He noted, “I just built this piece by piece until I had enough…then I stumble upon the company’s own meta-analysis deeply buried on their website, and it shows the same thing. It was a eureka moment for sure.”
Symptoms of Cardiovascular Emergencies
If you have been treated with Avandia and you experience any of the following symptoms, consult a physician immediately:
- Shortness of breath
- Unusual fatigue
- Liver disease
- Heart failure
There are less dangerous treatments for diabetes than Avandia, and there are less expensive generic alternatives, too. Glaxo spent hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising claiming that Avandia is an effective and safe treatment, but their own data belies that claim.
If you or a loved one have taken Avandia and experienced any side effects, please contact Daniel P. Kondos today. Attorneys are available by phone, e-mail or by clicking here.