Dr. Steven Nissen On Diabetic Drug, Avandia, Shown To Damage The Heart

ap avandia 100220 mn Dr. Steven Nissen On Diabetic Drug, Avandia, Shown To Damage The Heart Photo

Avandia risks cardiac problems (AP/abcnews.com)

Avandia, a controversial diabetes medication, was linked to 304 deaths in the third quarter of 2009 according to a confidential government report obtained by the New York Times. Dr. David Graham and Dr. Kate Gelperin of the FDA recommend that it be taken off the market.

The bipartisan Senate investigation sharply criticized GlaxoSmithKline saying it failed to warn patients years earlier that Avandia was potentially deadly. The report concluded that the drug company threatened doctors who suggested that Avandia might have serious risks.
Three years ago, Dr. Steven E. Nissen, a prominent cardiologist conducted a study that lead to a congressional inquiry, stringent safety warnings and sharp drop in the drug’s sales. Before the study was released, he and four company executives met face to face in a private meeting that the doctor recorded without their knowledge. The details have been disclosed for the first time in today’s New York Times.
What was discussed raises critical questions about science and ethics. During the meeting drug company made promises they would never keep and pretended not to know details of Nissen’s study they’d inappropriately gotten hold of.
At one point Nissen lost patience saying, “I hope you guys understand how much trouble GSK is in here. You’ve got a bunch of people who are incredibly vulnerable to myocardial ischemia and you’ve had evidence that you’re provoking ischemia in those people, and that is of grave public health consequences.”
According to Vitals.com, Dr. Nissen received his medical degree at the University of Michigan and completed his residency at the University Of California Davis Medical Center.
Avandia is still being taken by hundreds of thousands of patients and sales last year were $1.9 billion.