Doctors are taking Avandia recall into their own hands

Harvey Kirk

By Harvey Kirk
Posted April 24, 2008


Despite the fact that the FDA narrowly voted in October 2007 to not issue an Avandia recall, many doctors have taken the matter into their own hands and stopped prescribing the dangerous diabetes drug. Amid concerns that Avandia increases the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems, prescriptions for the medication have plummeted over the past year, and new research suggests that doctors intend to continue cutting back on prescriptions.

>>INFORMATION: Avandia Heart Side Effects

According to an earnings statement released yesterday, GlaxoSmithKline PLC, the maker of Avandia, saw their first quarter 2008 profits declined 14%. The drop was largely attributed to declines in prescriptions for Avandia as a result of safety concerns associated with the medication. Avandia, which was once Glaxo’s second-best selling drug, saw sales decline 56% from the same quarter last year.

Concerns about the safety of Avandia began to gain national attention after a report was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in May 2007. The report, analyzed data from 42 clinical trials and found that the use of Avandia increased the risk of heart attacks 43%. Since that time, many doctors have switched their patients to other diabetes drugs as a result of concerns that the potential Avandia risks outweigh the benefits provided by the medication..

Following a detailed review of the safety issues surrounding Avandia, many experts and officials within the FDA felt that an Avandia recall should be issued to protect consumers from this dangerous medication. However, after a tight vote, the FDA decided to allow the diabetes drug to remain on the market with a stronger “black box” warning about the potential risk of Avandia heart attacks.

According to a survey from Decision Resources, a research and advisory firm for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, concerns among doctors about Avandia’s heart risks have increased more than nine-fold since May 2007. The report, entitled “Avandia One Year Later – A Physician and Payer Perspective”, found that nearly 75% of physicians say they have switched their patients to Merck’s Januvia as a result of the meta-analysis involving Avandia, and more than 80% indicate they will increase the number of total prescriptions they write for the other diabetes drug over the next two years. Of the physicians surveyed, 58% of primary care physicians and 52% of endocrinologists indicated that they will further reduce their prescribing of Avandia over the next year.


The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. represent individuals throughout the United States who are pursuing an Avandia lawsuit after suffering a heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure or death which was potentially caused by the diabetes drug. If you, a friend or family member have experienced problems which may be related to the use of the medication, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

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