Preliminary results of a study released by GlaxoSmithKline in an effort to promote the heart safety of the diabetes drug, Avandia, may have just made matters worse. The data released did not ease doctors concerns over the drug, and may have added to the controversy over the drug.
The study involving 4,447 people, which began four years ago, showed 29 patients in the Avandia group died from cardiovascular issues while 35 people died from cardiovascular problems in a group taking other drugs. However, doctors pointed out that although fewer people died while taking Avandia compared to other drugs, more had heart attacks, 43 to 37.
Concerns about Avandia arose last month when Dr. Steven E. Nissen wrote an analysis suggesting that the popular medication increased the risk of heart attacks by 43 percent. Another set of doctors recalculated Dr. Nissen’s results and combined them with the study released by GlaxoSmithKline and found that Avandia increased a patients risk of heart attack by 33 percent.
Since millions of Americans use Avandia to treat their diabetes, it could result in thousands of more heart attacks each year.