Usually when the magnifying glass is applied to a drug company and a product the way it is to GSK and Avandia, this column is the first place to show the other side and point to an overreaction or unfair media attack. Avandia is a great drug in diabetics that improves sensitivity to insulin and helps sugar absorption. It saves lives, but does it also cost lives?An ongoing prospective study comparing Avandia to Actos, a similar drug in the same class which hasn't been found to have the same risks, is expected to answer the safety question once and for all.
Expect the controversy to be resolved soon—either by restriction or removal. I am not on the manufacturer's side on this one, though I think Avandia is an important treatment that would be tough to lose.Marc Siegel, MD, is an internist and professor of medicine at New York University and the author of False Alarm: The Truth About the Epidemic of Fear