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Diabetes UK advice on Avandia

Following the Panorama episode 'A risk worth taking?' broadcast on Monday 6 September, many people with diabetes who are currently taking Avandia may be concerned about whether they should still be taking the medication.

However, Diabetes UK is recommending that anyone currently taking Avandia (rosiglitazone) should not stop taking the medication without discussing this with their healthcare team first.

What are the recent concerns?

Following new research, concerns have been raised about the potential side effects of the medication prompting reviews by the US and European agencies with responsibility for monitoring the safety of drugs.

The US Food and Drug Administration voted in July to keep Avandia available but with restrictions. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is still reviewing the benefits and risks of the drug and will decide in September 2010 if it should be allowed to stay on the market or if further restrictions should be placed on its suitability.

Diabetes UK advice

Bridget Turner, Head of Policy and Care Improvement at leading health charity Diabetes UK, said: "Diabetes UK has been awaiting the outcome of the EMA's review of Avandia (also known as rosiglitazone) which we understand is due this month (September 2010). We would urge the EMA to make a swift decision in order to give definitive guidance to patients.

"The most important consideration is patient safety. People who are currently taking rosiglitazone should not stop taking it without discussing the risks and benefits of the drug with their healthcare team first. It is imperative for the EMA to report their findings as soon as possible to ensure patient safety."

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