Senate Committee Links Diabetes Drug Avandia to Heart Attacks, Death

On February 20, 2010 the New York Times carried a front-page story reporting that hundreds of patients taking the controversial diabetes medicine, Avandia (rosiglitazone), needlessly suffered heart attacks and heart failure each month, according to confidential governmental reports.  The Wall Street Journal (Monday, 2/22), reported that a Senate Finance Committee concluded that Glaxo was aware of the risks, but minimized the issue and tried to suppress concerned physicians.  FDA documents indicate that in 2008, agency scientists recommended that the drug be pulled from the market, but FDA chiefs rejected the recommendation.  It is estimated that the drug caused 83,000.00 heart attacks between 1999 and 2007.