Friday, August 20, 2010

Avandia Georgia News

From the NYT: 
Federal drug regulators ordered GlaxoSmithKline to send a letter to crucial doctors describing a hearing in July where an expert advisory panel discussed the risks of Avandia, the company’s controversial diabetes medicine.
Doctors who received the letter, dated July 28, are investigators in a study called the Tide trial, which was intended to compare the heart risks of Avandia with those of Actos, a similar drug made by Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

Results of the trial, which was requested by the F.D.A., are not expected for years. The ethics of the Tide trial were a point of contention at the advisory committee hearing, and the F.D.A. ordered GlaxoSmithKline to stop recruiting new patients into the trial, although current patients could continue.

Dr. David Graham, an F.D.A. medical officer, made an impassioned presentation at the advisory hearing arguing that the study should be stopped because thousands of patients in the trial were being exploited. None of these arguments were mentioned in GlaxoSmithKline’s letter.

“This summary is biased, misleading and not truthful,” Dr. Graham said in an interview. “The whole purpose of this letter is so that they can reassess whether this is an ethical trial going forward, but the step-by-step ethical flaws and problems with the Tide trial are not even referenced.”