The dangers of the diabetes drug Avandia are now out there in the open, where everyone can see them… yet some people still think we need more research on these awful pills.
But let’s not kid ourselves: This is a dangerous drug that needs to be pulled from the market, for good.
A major new Avandia trial is getting under way, and if it’s allowed to unfold, some 16,000 diabetics around the world will be given this drug through 2015.
What’s that saying about the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing, over and over again, and expecting a different result. But don’t expect anything different– because the research on this one is crystal clear and remarkably consistent: A review of 42 studies found that Avandia increases the risk of serious heart problems.
A Congressional report released earlier this year blamed this med for 83,000 heart attacks between 1999 and 2007. This drug has been linked to heart attack, heart failure, chest pain and death… again and again.
Last year, a Canadian study linked Avandia to a 30 percent increased risk of heart failure or death in elderly patients. Yet here we are, ready to begin yet another needless study.
This new trial actually has its roots in 2007, when a landmark study linking Avandia to heart problems had many observers writing this drug’s obituary. But reports of its demise were premature… because instead of pulling the plug, the FDA called for more research.
You know the feds. Never take action when you can waste more time assembling a study, organizing committees, holding meetings and so on.
The amazing thing is that the feds don’t really dispute that it’s dangerous. They even ordered a "black box" warning on the drug due to the risks, and they’re holding a meeting this summer (there they go again!) to go over the latest safety evidence.
Experts and advocacy groups like Public Citizen are calling on the feds to stop the new study now, and there are reports that the trial sites are having a hard time signing people up.
I’d run away too if I heard the word "Avandia!"
But even if they manage to trick enough people into joining this trial, there’s no need to wait for the results– because you have alternatives. Even the other drugs on the market are safer.
Safer… but still unnecessarily risky. They all come with their share of side effects, and any one of them could turn into the next Avandia.
Instead, do as millions of others have done and make the lifestyle changes that can tame your diabetes. That means shutting off your sugar switch and getting a little movement back into your life.
It can be a challenge at first–but it sure beats the challenge of seeing if you can survive the side effects of the latest diabetes drug.
Edward Martin is a health journalist who writes about today's most pressing health issues. He chronicles the most cutting-edge alternative methods for beating everything from diabetes to cancer and reports on the latest FDA foul-ups and Big Pharma conspiracies.