The story below from the London Evening Standard.
It is amazing that this story has the spin that it does… talking about an “…embarrassing blow to [Glaxo’s] reputation…” and explaining how the MHRA “…warned that the heart risks associated with Avandia…”
What about the patients who have DIED because they took Avandia?
What about the way the MHRA dragged its feet over issuing the warning?
That’s where the real story is. I suggest that you all watch Panorama tonight (Monday 6 September) at 8.30pm BBC1.
Anyway – here’s the story:
GlaxoSmithKline was hit by an embarrassing blow to its reputation today when Britain’s drug regulator said its diabetes medicine Avandia should be pulled from sale because of concerns about its risk to the heart.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency warned that the heart risks associated with Avandia – which was once Glaxo’s best-selling product and is still used by tens of thousands of Britons meant “it no longer has a place on the UK market”.
Avandia sales peaked at £1.4 billion in 2006, but fell to £771 million last year amid safety fears. Its value would drop off much more rapidly if the MHRA’s warning influences a special meeting the European Medicines Agency – which decides whether drugs should be used by patients in the EU – called to investigate the drug.
The MHRA said it would “robustly” put forward its position on Avandia at the meeting on Wednesday.
The latest concerns came to light after the British Medical Journal found that the Commission on Human Medicines – a group that advises Government ministers – had recommended the withdrawal of Avandia in July. At the time, the British watchdog reacted only by writing to doctors advising them to “consider alternative treatments where appropriate”.
But today fresh fears arose that the drug could be recalled from the market, sending Glaxo shares down 7.5p to 1254p. Analysts had hoped that the Brentford-based drugmaker’s Avandia headaches were over after Glaxo took a record legal charge of £1.57 billion in July, with a significant part going to settling patients’ lawsuits against Avandia.