The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should ban the diabetes drug Avandia because of its dangerous side effects, says the consumer group Public Citizen in a petition to the FDA. The group says that the risks, which include heart and liver damage, are serious enough that the medication should be removed from the market.
Avandia's heart risks were brought to light two years ago, when a medical journal article reported a 43 percent higher risk of heart attacks among Avandia users when compared to those taking other diabetes drugs. Public Citizen's petition announced that its own research found 14 cases of liver failure associated with Avandia, 12 of which were fatal. It also said that Avandia predisposes some patients to eye problems, anemia, and bone fractures.
The American Diabetes Association and a European counterpart released updated treatment guidelines for doctors that strongly recommended against using Avandia. At one time, the GlaxoSmithKline drug showed great potential for reducing the blood sugar levels of people with Type 2 diabetes. Glaxo said in a statement that it does not believe Avandia causes liver failure. The company said that its own data show that the drug has a good safety record when it comes to liver problems.