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Diabetes drug “as safe as rival”


In the latest installment of a long running debate, US researchers say that GlaxoSmithKline’s diabetes drug Avandia is no more dangerous to the heart than one of its rivals.

The finding contradicts previous studies, adding further fuel to the debate raging over the drug’s safety.

The risks of death or having a heart attack, heart failure or both were the same – around 4% – for patients taking either Avandia, known generically as rosiglitazone, or Takeda Pharmaceutical’s Actos, known generically as pioglitazone, according to the study of more than 36,000 diabetics carried out by researchers at health insurer WellPoint.

Debra Wertz of HealthCore, Wellpoint’s research arm, said: “This study provides patients and their doctors with another source of information about rosiglitazone and pioglitazone as they determine the best therapy for diabetes patients.”

The findings were published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Copyright Press Association 2010


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