HEADLINE: AVANDIA RISK
ANCHOR LEAD: DATA ON HEART RISK DUE TO THE DIABETES DRUG AVANDIA ISN’T COMPLETE, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
In the wake of reports indicating that the diabetes drug marketed as Avandia may increase the risk of heart attacks, more than twice as many adverse events related to the medication have been reported, and a recent meta-analysis lends further support to the heart disease link. Yet Christopher Saudek, a diabetes expert at Johns Hopkins, remains skeptical.
SAUDEK: It’s up in the air whether there is any cardiovascular effect or not. That’s just not proven. Dr. Nissen collected a group of articles, when if you summed them all up it showed that there might be a small effect on cardiovascular disease of Avandia. What we have known is that Avandia causes fluid retention, we know that it causes swelling, we know that it causes even congestive heart failure and so whether that’s the cause of what he’s looking at is a real possibility. :29
Saudek says a carefully designed study to address the specific question of Avandia’s link to heart attacks needs to be done. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.