Funding from Manufacturer Influenced Avandia Studies


A recent analysis of articles commenting on the safety and effectiveness of the diabetes drug Avandia indicates that researchers paid by the drug manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, were significantly more likely to provide a favorable review of the drug. Over the past 3-4 years, there have been hundreds of studies and reviews of Avandia published in scientific journals. Many of these studies have divulged sharply contrasting opinions about the drug.

There have been many studies indicating that Avandia, which is used to control blood glucose levels in Type 2 diabetes patients, leads to a substantial increase in the risk of heart attack. A Congressional investigation into Avandia led the FDA to require a “black box” warning, their strongest warning, on the drug’s label. Confidential FDA reports released last February even went as far as to recommend Avandia’s removal from the market.

Yet, in spite of the overwhelming evidence against Avandia, there have been numerous studies which extol the virtues of the drug, claiming it poses no additional risk to the patient.

The current analysis examined 202 articles by 180 different authors. All of the articles discussed Avandia in relation to its risk of heart attacks. Independent reviewers with no conflict of interest scored each article on a favorability scale based on the authors’ stance on Avandia’s association with a risk of heart attacks and their recommendations for its continued use or its removal from the market.

The analysis found that 87% of authors with favorable reviews of Avandia had potential conflicts of interest (they were either paid by GlaxoSmithKline or another drug manufacturer producing a similar diabetes drug). In contrast, only 20% of authors with a negative opinion of the drug received money from GlaxoSmithKline.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers earn billions of dollars off of high profile drugs such as Avandia, and they have a vested interest in the ongoing success of these drugs. It appears that there is now concrete evidence that at least some drug manufacturers use their vast resources to further their bottom line rather than to ensure the safety of individuals taking the drug.

If you have suffered a serious injury from taking Avandia, an experienced defective drug lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve.

Written by Andrew Martin: professional blogger and guru of misfortune.