Avandia Study Confirms Potentially Deadly Heart Side Effects

Another <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/avandia">Avandia study has confirmed the controversial diabetes drug’s dangerous and often deadly heart side effects. According to the study, Avandia patients are more likely to develop heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems and die than those who take Actos, a similar diabetes medication.

This latest Avandia study, published March 17 in the British Medical Journal, consisted of a meta-analysis of 16 studies which involved 810,000 patients, most of whom were over 60 years old. Of those, 429,000 patients took Avandia, and 381,000 took Avandia.

Those taking Avandia faced a significant increased risk of heart attack (16 percent), congestive heart failure (23 percent) and death (14 percent), according to the study. This may lead to 170 excess heart attacks, 649 excess cases of heart failure and 431 excess deaths for every 100,000 taking Avandia versus Actos, a report in Cardiovascular Business said.

This is just the latest study to point to significant heart and mortality risks associated with Avandia. Last year, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) restricted sales of Avandia, as well as two related drugs called Avandamet and Avandaryl, after concluding their association with an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes outweighed the drugs’ benefits for most patients. At the same time, regulators in Europe announced that sales of Avandia and related drugs would be suspended. Since November 2007, Avandia’s U.S. label has included a black box warning – the FDA’s strongest safety alert – detailing its association with heart attacks.

Recently, drug maker GlaxoSmithKline announced it had reached an agreement to settle 5,000 U.S. Avandia lawsuits totaling $250 million, which averages out to about $46,000 each to each plaintiff. Glaxo previously settled around 10,000 Avandia heart attack and stroke claims, and it is estimated that it could face as many as 50,000 more claims. In January, Glaxo announced that it expects to record a legal charge for the fourth quarter of 2010 ($3.4 billion), in part to cover product liability lawsuits regarding Avandia. That was in addition to a $2.36 billion charge the company took last year elated to Avandia and Paxil litigation.

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