by Kazeem Olalekan MRPharmS
A news article on the BBC Today program (http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_8971000/8971236.stm) came to my attention yesterday about Avandia. It left me concerned for my patients and disappointed in the regulatory framework and in particular at GSK’s response. The concern about Avandia is not new. In July 2007, I posted a blog on Iforg Limited website about Avandia and Heart Disease (http://iforg.com/blog/?p=26) and it related to a youtube video I uncovered. In July 2010, the FDA recommended that Avandia remain on the US market but with stronger restrictions (link).
In the UK we have a regulatory body, MHRA, who I now understand reached a unanimous decision to remove Avandia from the UK market but due to some technical aberrations, cannot. GSK should have quarantined this drug before Europe makes a pronouncement of the drug. That would have been a dignified and right thing to do. That will be acting in the interest of the patients. Failing that the MHRA should have suspended the license temporarily. I am not too happy about this state of affairs and very concerned for my patients. If the powers that be will not act, then I will need to have a discussion with my GPs locally and device a way forward in the interest of our patients.
By the way, the BMJ investigation has also recommended the withdrawal of Avandia (Rosiglitazone) – link.
I am a fan of big pharm but this has been disappointing.