(NaturalNews) A recently-released Senate committee report has uncovered that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the maker of the diabetes drug Avandia, concealed information verifying that the drug has caused tens of thousands of heart attacks in patients who took it. The 334-page report also indicts the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for failing to properly regulate the drug and ignoring the truth about its dangers.
It was also revealed that FDA officials had conducted confidential studies on Avandia and made recommendations that the drug be pulled from the market because it is unsafe. In 2007, however, an FDA advisory committee of scientists and doctors voted overwhelmingly to keep the drug on the market, while at the same time acknowledging that it increased the risk of a heart attack.
In the bizarre world of the drug industry, lies and deception are generally allowed to trump the facts. GSK responded to the allegations by claiming that extensive studies on more than 52,000 patients have shown no "statistically significant association between Avandia and heart attacks."
The whole ordeal began back in 2007 when Steve Nissen, a cardiologist from the Cleveland Clinic, published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine that showed a 43 percent increased risk of cardiovascular events in patients taking Avandia. Naturally, GSK denounced the study, but internal emails obtained and included in the Senate Finance Committee report revealed that GSK scientists agreed with Nissen's study as their own numbers were similar.
According to independent sources, GSK has known about the dangers of Avandia for years but has done everything possible to cover up the truth. In typical drug company fashion, GSK intimidated independent scientists that were critical of the drug, subverted independent reviews and studies of the drug's safety, and employed devious strategies to minimize all information about Avandia's dangers.
At the same time GSK was claiming that Avandia was perfectly safe, the company agreed to add a "black box" warning to the drug back in 2007 that said the drug can cause aggravate congestive heart failure. Black box warnings are the strongest type and are used on drugs that medical studies indicate carry significant risk or serious and even life-threatening negative side effects.
So which is it? Is Avandia safe or does it cause heart failure? According to GSK, both statements are somehow true. According to all independent analysis, Avandia is wholly unsafe and should be pulled from the market.
Ethan Huff is a freelance writer and health enthusiast who loves exploring the vast world of natural foods and health, digging deep to get to the truth. He runs an online health publication of his own at http://wholesomeherald.blogspot.com.
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