Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Dangerous diabetes drug still prescribed despite warnings

  • 1 Comment

People with diabetes are still being prescribed a potentially dangerous drug two months after safety experts recommended it should be taken off the market.

Introducing Nursing Times Learning

Online training units, written and reviewed by experts. Earn two hours’ CPD and a personalised certificate for your portfolio.

Subscribers get five FREE learning units and non-subscribers can access each learning unit for £10 + VAT.

Click on the topics below to get started:

Rosiglitazone, which is sold under the name Avandia, should never have been licensed and ought to be withdrawn as it increases the risk of heart attack, said the British Medical Journal (BMJ) following an investigation into its regulation.

BBC One’s Panorama led an investigation into the drug, and found the Commission on Human Medicines said the “risks of rosiglitazone outweigh its benefits” and that it “no longer has a place in the UK market.”

In July the commission advised a committee of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to withdraw GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) diabetes drug. It was approved in 2000 to help lower blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Since then several studies have suggested rosiglitazone may lead to a small overall rise in heart attack risk, despite GSK’s assertions that their “extensive research” proved it was “safe and effective when it is prescribed appropriately”.

Dr Deborah Cohen, the BMJ’s investigations editor, criticised the European approval process as insufficiently rigorous, and questioned the quality of GSK’s data, failures to respond quickly to safety fears and an absence of publicly available trial results that independent scientists could study.

The medical journal said doctors are recommending that patients taking rosiglitazone should consider other treatment, and those with a higher risk of heart attack should be advised to change drugs. No new patients should be prescribed the medication.

The Panorama investigation, called A Risk Worth Taking? will be broadcast on BBC One at 8.30pm on Monday.

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • I should have been shocked by the secrecy of information being with held from the general public as displayed on the panarama programme last night but sadlcai wasnt,
    why do doctors get paid for prescribing a drug???? what about conflict of interest ?????? surely doctors should be un biast how on earth do they earn our trust when they still think its right to with hold information or be economical with the truth

    call me cynical but it will only get worse
    when the gp s hold the purse strings
    and i can not help but wonder how many other goodies with they be offered ?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.