Diabetes Drug Avandia Linked To Higher Death Rate

GlaxoSmithKline makes $3 billion annually from the sales of rosiglitazone or Avandia. However, a new study suggests that this drug increased the risk of heart death by 64 percent and the risk of heart attack by 43 percent, U.S. researchers said

Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic analyzed 42 clinical trials and said more than 65 percent of the deaths among diabetic patients in the trials of the drug could be attributed to heart disease.

The study of Avandia, also known as rosiglitazone, will be published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“Unfortunately, rosiglitazone appears to increase, rather than decrease, the most serious complication of diabetes, heart disease,” Dr. Steven Nissen, chairman of cardiovascular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, said in a statement.

The ironic part of this story is that the FDA approved Avandia for public release to replace the Pfizer drug Rezulin which was linked to causing liver damage in patients.