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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Diabetes drug increases the most serious complication of diabetes

Avandia, GlaxoSmithKline Plc's widely used drug for treating type 2 diabetes, raises the risk of heart death by 64 per cent and the risk of heart attack by 43 per cent, US researchers have said.

The news about Avandia, a US$3 billion ($4.1 billion) a year drug also known as rosiglitazone, triggered a free fall in GSK's shares, which closed off more than 5 per cent on the London Stock Exchange. The slide continued on the New York Stock Exchange, with shares closing down nearly 8 per cent.

Glaxo said it strongly disagreed with the conclusions of the report, based on an analysis of other studies.

"Unfortunately, rosiglitazone appears to increase, rather than decrease, the most serious complication of diabetes, heart disease," Dr. Steven Nissen, chairman of cardiovascular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, said in a statement.

"The whole reason you want to treat diabetes is to prevent the complications of diabetes," Nissen added in a telephone interview.<
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Gary Moller comments:

Is this a joke? Sadly, it is not. Let me expalin why these dangerous drugs keep rolling out into the market place and keep being promoted and prescribed by doctors despite known health risks. The answer is simple: It is very, very good business. Take this diabetes drug for example.

This drug brings in over $4 billion a year with, say a profit of $1 billion. Let's say they get sued for a billion. That's a lot of money. But is it really? Not really.

First they know that they can sell the drug for 4-5 years before any real concerns are collated and red flaged. Then they delay, delay, delay and obfuscate like crazy, hiring the best lawyers on the planet. They know from past expereince that many of the suers will die, others will get too sick and tired to continue and even more simply run out of money to pursue the case. After 5 years, the first cases are being heard with judgements being made. If they do this really well and get lucky, as has been the case with the Agent Orange scandal of the Vietnam War, they will manage to drag this process out over decades.

Sure, it might be a billion dollars; but they have been able to pocket at least $10 billion in profits in the meantime, all the while developing their next wonder drug to foist on the ever swelling ranks of passive "sick" consumers and to replace the drug that has run its course in the market place.

This also explains why natural therapies for conditions like diabetes get little more than lip service. There's no money to be made from helping people stay healthy.
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