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Rosiglitazones should not be banned says expert US panel

Experts in the United States (US) met yesterday to discuss the fate of Type 2 diabetes drug Avandia, also known as Rosiglitazone.

They were asked to vote on whether the drug should continue to be used in the US following reports it can lead to an increased risk of heart failure.

The panel of US government health advisors decided that the evidence produced indicating an increased risk of heart attack was not sufficient to warrant Rosiglitazone’s withdrawal from America. This recommendation was put forward to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) who will make the final decision on the drug.

The panel did, however, vote that the drug’s warning label should be updated and that additional studies into the drug be conducted.

The FDA is not required to follow the advice of its advisory committees but usually does.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), who are responsible for the licensing of drugs in the UK, currently state that glitazones are a safe and effective treatment for Type 2 diabetes.

 “Drug risks are evaluated frequently and neither the MHRA or NICE are calling for the withdrawal of glitazones," said Matt Hunt, Science Information Manager at Diabetes UK.

"Obviously, new evidence should be considered by the MHRA on an ongoing basis. 

 “Glitazones are not presently recommended for people who have had, or who are at high risk of having, heart failure.

 "Both the MHRA and the European Medicines Agency say that people should not stop taking glitazones and if concerned they should consult their doctor.

 "Diabetes UK strongly recommends that people with Type 2 diabetes eat a well balanced diet and incorporate physical activity into their daily life as part of good diabetes control."

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