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Controversial Diabetes Drug Under FDA Microscope Again

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Avandia

CBS Minnesota (con't)

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A former blockbuster diabetes drug is going under the FDA’s microscope again.

New research suggests Avandia may be safer than first thought, although critics aren’t buying it.

The FDA panel is looking at a new analysis on the drug, which shows it’s just as safe as older diabetes drugs. The FDA restricted use of Avandia in 2010 after research suggested an increased risk of heart attack.

Doctors disagree about the drug’s safety.

“There was a lot of conflicting information,” said Dr. Andrew Drexler of the UCLA Gonda (Goldschmied) Diabetes Center. “I think the majority of the information I saw suggested there was not a problem.”

Dr. Steven Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic is on the other side of the issue.

“This drug should be off the market,” he said. “It is off the market in almost every country in the world but the U.S.”

About 3,000 people currently take Avandia in the U.S., but just four years ago, doctors wrote more than 2.5 million prescriptions for the drug.

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