FDA Moves to Restrict Access to Three GSK Diabetes Drugs

Avandia by GlaxoSmithKline

| Jun 11, 2011

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said that starting on November 18, 2011, it will restrict retail pharmacy sales of three diabetes drugs manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline: the stand-alone Avandia (rosiglitazone) and the combination drugs Avandamet (rosiglitazone and metformin) and Avandaryl (rosiglitazone and glimepiride).

The market restrictions are motivated by the agency's concerns that the drugs increase the risk of heart attacks. To continue taking the drugs, diabetes patients and their prescribers must be enrolled in the Avandia-rosiglitazone Medicines Access Program, a mail-order program run by FDA-certified pharmacies. To enroll, patients will have to show that they cannot successfully control their blood sugar levels with other drugs.

The FDA restriction is the latest in a series of setbacks for what was once the world's best-selling diabetes drug, peaking at $3.2 billion in worldwide sales in 2006. But concerns about subsequent studies, which raised questions about Avandia's effects on bone density and an increased risk of heart attacks, cut deeply into sales. In 2010, sales were $680 million-down almost 80 percent in four years from their high.

The current number of U.S. Avandia users is hard to determine. The FDA's latest figures, from October 2010, showed 119,000 patients filling prescriptions for it, down substantially from 235,500 patients in January 2010.

Glaxo, which is informing U.S. pharmacies now about the November deadline, has advised pharmacists and healthcare providers to caution patients currently taking Avandia not to stop taking it without consulting a medical professional.

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Avandia/Avandamet/Avandaryl/, Blood Sugar, Diabetes, Diabetes, FDA, Food, GlaxoSmithKline, Heart Attack, Mail Order, Pharmacy

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12th Annual Product Reference Guide
  • Insulin Syringe Chart
  • Insulin Pen Needles Chart
  • Fast-Acting Glucose
  • Sharps Disposal
  • Blood Glucose Meters Chart
  • Insulin Pumps Chart
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (0)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...

Username: Password:
©1991-2015 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.