Is no news really good news?
Last September, the FDA pledged to review Actos, the big-name diabetes drug that has been linked to bladder cancer. This was after the go-to diabetes pill, Avandia, came under fire for its link to serious heart problems.
Everyone figured, with a line drawn between Avandia and heart problems, patients should be on something else. And Actos seemed like it was a prime candidate to fill the big hole left by Avandia.
Except for that long-term study linking it to bladder cancer. Not to mention the fact that it, like Avandia, sported a warning for ties to heart problems.
So, at that point, there was more confusion than ever–for doctors and patients alike.
But the FDA promised to cut through the confusion and find a clear answer.
Almost a year later, I guess they’re still working on finding that answer. Because I haven’t heard a peep.
Meanwhile, in France…well, Actos is a thing of the past. A month ago, regulators in France suspended the use of Actos–they’d seen the same reports of a possible connection to bladder cancer, and were apparently a little more on top of investigating.
Suspension of the drug lead to the maker pulling it off the market. They were also asked to withdraw a related drug.
The French review and subsequent decision to pull the drug came before the European Medicines Agency even completed their review–I guess the Agency is on the FDA’s schedule.
Here in the US, I guess the 10-year study linking Actos to bladder cancer wasn’t enough. The FDA hasn’t said one way or another if the drug increases the risk, and I doubt they’ll be saying anything anytime soon. I’m not sure what actually constitutes their “review,” but they sure are taking their sweet time.
It’s nice to know that, somewhere, regulatory agencies are actually looking out for the public. I just wish it were over here.
Ms. O’Brien has written for Nutrition & Healing, Healthier Talk and a variety of other natural and alternative health outlets. She believes in the power of natural medicine and her goal is to open people’s eyes to the benefits of alternative and integrative medicine.
Christine is passionate about helping people help themselves without having to turn to harsh drugs or invasive surgeries.
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