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Humanist, humorist

Friday, December 30, 2011

Actos...No Better Than Avandia

Whilst browsing in a shop the other day I purchased a pair of shoes. The assistant asked me if I would like to purchase a leather care product - Good sales pitch. Obviously, I'd like my shoes the last a long time so purchasing a leather care product would benefit me...and my shoes.

When you or I visit our doctor's we are, occasionally, given bad news. "Mr Smith, I have some bad news for you, I'm afraid you have type 2 diabetes."

The initial shock of hearing such bad news is followed by, "but don't worry, it is treatable."

Years ago, and until recently, doctor's were handing out prescriptions for Avandia, a drug manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline which was recently pulled off the shelves after the European medicines regulator deemed it unsafe, they found that it caused strokes in many of those that were taking it. TheAmerican drugwatch agency, the FDA, didn't feel that it needed to be pulled off the market, opting instead for a more stern warning on the labelling. GlaxoSmithKline apparently knew of the heart stroke link...but decided not to tell anyone until they had made a pretty packet on sales of the drug.

Because Avandia was pulled off the market in Europe and because it received such bad press in America doctor's, naturally, started prescribing an alternative. Enter Actos, a drug manufactured by Japanese giants Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

News of Actos has been circulating recently, and it isn't good. Actos can cause bladder cancer and it's manufacturers knew all along that it could.

My shoe analogy at the start of this post may seem a little odd. But the retailer was warning me that my shoes may become scuffed, hence the offer of the leather care product.

Imagine, if you will, the following scenario.

Doctor: I'm afraid you have diabetes

Patient: Oh no!

Doctor: Don't worry it can be treated with either Avandia or Actos

Patient: Oh fantastic

Doctor: Would you like a heart stroke or bladder cancer with that?

Sounds like a sketch from the Monty Python team doesn't it?

Meantime, people are coming forward because they are now realising that Actos, the drug they took to help their diabetes, has actually made matters worse for them.

A suit, filed yesterday in the State of California, [Los Angeles Superior Court] by Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, P.C. alleges that three California residents and their spouses claim the diabetes drug Actos caused their bladder cancer. The full press release can be read HERE

You can read more about Actos and the bladder cancer link at .




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