The Hidden Agenda Behind the FDA's New Avandia Hearings

Published: May 23, 2013

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On June 5 and 6, the FDA will convene an advisory committee meeting on the diabetes drug Avandia, which was removed from the market in 2010 in most countries and placed under severe restrictions in the United States. Currently, only 3000 patients take what was once the best-selling oral diabetes treatment in the world. Its maker, GlaxoSmithkline (GSK), did not seek this public meeting and has publicly stated that it did not request modification to the drug’s extremely restrictive label. In 2012, GSK pled guilty to criminal misconduct related in part to concealing the hazards of Avandia and paid a $3 billion fine, one of the largest in U.S. history. In this context, why is the FDA seeking a new review of Avandia?

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