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Experts to discuss diabetes drug Avandia's safety

July 11, 2010 8:26:50 PM PDT
Medical experts will meet Tuesday to discuss whether the diabetes drug Avandia should be pulled from the U.S. market.

The question is whether the drug increases a person's chance of having a heart attack.

The manufacturer contends that it does not and points to a key study that backs up its claim.

However, a new analysis by a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scientist takes aim at that study, saying it was so biased that the results were inaccurate.

Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Dr. Steven Nissen has been arguing about the dangers of Avandia for years.

"If you can't find a more compelling case than this for pulling a drug off the market then I don't know what there is," said Nissen.

Hundreds of pages of documents released by the FDA reveal much more about the possible dangers of Avandia.

One FDA reviewer looked at dozens of studies and found Avandia increased the risk of death, stroke or heart attack by 44 percent.

However, the agency is split.

Some FDA scientists still contend there's not clear proof that Avandia is risky.


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