Avandia: Too Dangerous, but Still for Sale?
If you’ve been following the headlines at all in recent months, you’ve no doubt heard about the diabetes drug named Avandia, which according to a Senate Finance Committee report, has caused over 83,000 heart attacks to date. Has GlaxoSmithKline, the pharmaceutical company behind this drug, gotten away with murder?
At the height of its sales, Avandia killed several hundred people a month, all while raking in more than $3 billion a year in profits. Unfortunately, we have seen this before. (Remember Vioxx?) Big Pharma has an ugly track record of misrepresenting the truth about the safety of its drugs in order to get them approved for sale and to keep them on the market. It seems they will stop at nothing to make a profit — even if it means endangering the lives of millions, to keep the profits coming in.
In the case of Avandia, reports are emerging that GlaxoSmithKline tampered with clinical trial data in order to gain FDA approval, knowing perfectly well that the drug carried significant risks. And on top of that, more than 90% of the researchers who published favorable “studies” on Avandia apparently had financial ties to GlaxoSmithKline! This was the conclusion of an investigation conducted by researchers at the Mayo Clinic, one of the few research organizations in the U.S. that does not accept corporate funding.
An overwhelming amount of credible evidence has come to light revealing that makers of Avandia manipulated “scientific” data and outright lied about its safety record. It’s been confirmed that the drug has killed countless Americans, and yet the drug remains on the market — it just won’t seem to go away!
Too Dangerous to Test on Humans…but Still for Sale?
Last week, an FDA panel voted to put a hold on enrollment for a long-term study on Avandia’s safety while the FDA considers whether the dangers associated with the drug would make using it in a human trial unethical.
The FDA actually ordered the study in 2007, after the first major findings surfaced implicating Avandia in heart problems and fatalities, to determine the level of risk associated with the drug. But last week, Dr. David Graham, a prominent FDA official, said that the trial should be stopped because involved “human exploitation.”
“If the purpose of a study is to establish harm, it’s unethical right off the bat,” Dr. Graham said.
Not Powerful Enough to Take on Big Pharma?
Following the decision to put a hold on the Avandia trial, the same FDA advisory panel recently voted 20-12 to recommend that Avandia be allowed to remain on the market…for now. Over the next few months, the FDA will continue to debate whether to ultimately pull the drug off the market, or whether a stronger warning label and tighter prescribing restrictions will suffice.
Some of the panel members who voted against pulling Avandia from the market explained to the media that they believe the clinical evidence demonstrating that Avandia is dangerous is not strong enough! How much more evidence do they need? How is it that the FDA can stop a human trial because they know the drug being tested is harmful, yet at the same time allow the drug to remain on the market?
The Health Ranger, Mike Adams of NaturalNews.com put it well:
“…that’s the way the game is played between the FDA and Big Pharma. It’s a never-ending circus of so-called investigations and busywork designed to fabricate the results they’re looking for. Nobody asks the tough questions, and nobody ever states the obvious which, in this case, is that [GlaxoSmithKline] committed fraud and must be held criminally responsible.”
This sad story is just another hard lesson learned for all of us. Don’t believe those fancy advertisements that Big Pharma plasters all over television and magazines. This story teaches us that even if your doctor prescribes a drug with the best of intentions, you can’t assume that he or she has been provided with complete and accurate information about that drug’s safety record. Be cautious, and do as much research as possible before taking any pharmaceutical drug, because history tells us that the next Avandia-type scandal is just around the corner.
Joshua Corn – Editor-in-Chief
Josh is a health freedom advocate and veteran of the natural health industry. He has been actively involved in the natural health movement for over 15 years, and has been dedicated to the promotion of health, vitality, longevity and natural living throughout his career. Josh has successfully overcome several personal health challenges through natural means, and believes that sharing information can empower people to take control of their health so they can solve their own problems and live life to its fullest potential. Josh is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Live in the Now. Additionally he serves as CEO of Stop Aging Now, a company that has been formulating premium dietary supplements since 1995. Josh is currently working on his first book about natural health, and is gearing up to launch the Live in the Now radio show. In addition to his work in the natural health field, Josh is an avid outdoorsman, animal lover and enjoys “living in the now” with his wife and two sons.