Saturday, February 27, 2010

FDA allows another drug company to continue indiscriminately killing people...

Opinion: Once again we see the FDA’s almost unbelievable bias being played out on behalf of the major pharmaceutical companies.

Even when people are dropping like flies from a particular FDA-approved prescription drug – as in the case below where the diabetes drug Avandis is apparently causing some 500 heart attacks and 300 cases of heart failure every month – the FDA does nothing.

Yet the FDA continually screams from the high heavens that they need more authority to regulate nutritional supplements. They want to control supplement dosage levels. They want to control what information supplement manufacturers can and can’t tell the public. They want to control which supplement ingredients can be sold and which can’t. All of this, even though nutritional supplements have not caused a single death in the latest reporting period, while properly prescribed, FDA-approved prescription drugs kill an average of 106,000 people a year!

To the FDA, I say: No, thank you! Leave my supplements alone! You’re ‘regulation’ is unwanted and unneeded. Clean up your own house first, before you come into the nutritional supplement community to tell us our porch is dirty.

I’ve got nothing against prescription drugs. If you want to use them, go ahead. But it’s my choice to take nutritional supplements instead of drugs, whenever possible. And if there are consequences to my use of nutritional supplements instead of drugs, well, that’s my problem. I’ll deal with it.

Meanwhile FDA: Clean up your act before you start trying to cast stones at nutritional supplements!

-- Spencer

GlaxoSmithKline deliberately hid evidence of Avandia harm, says Senate report

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger

Editor of

(NaturalNews) GlaxoSmithKline, maker of the diabetes drug Avandia, knew the drug was linked to tens of thousands of heart attacks but went out of its way to hide this information from the public, says a 334-page report just released by the Senate Finance Committee. (

This report also accuses the FDA of betraying the public trust, explaining that FDA bureaucrats intentionally dismissed safety concerns found by the agency's own scientists.

The report says that Big Pharma's drugs "put public safety at risk because the FDA has been too cozy with drug makers and has been regularly outmaneuvered by companies that have a financial interest in downplaying or under-exploring potential safety risks." Sales of Avandia were $3.2 billion (yes, billion) in 2006.

According to a statistical analysis in the report, if all the diabetics currently taking Avandia were put on a "safer" drug, it would avert 500 heart attacks and 300 cases of heart failure every month in the United States alone. Presently, hundreds of thousands of Americans are still taking this drug, and hundreds will continue to die each month as a result, according to the report estimates.

This report, championed by U.S. Senators Grassley and Baucus, is the result of investigators pouring through more than 250,000 pages of documentation gathered from GlaxoSmithKline and the FDA. The document reveals some rather startling facts about the dangers of Avandia, including evidence from the FDA's own scientists who concluded that Avandia was associated with 83,000 heart attacks.

GlaxoSmithKline intimidates scientists

This investigative report also reveals that GSK engaged in the intimidation of physicians, saying: "GSK executives attempted to intimidate independent physicians, focused on strategies to minimize or misrepresent findings that Avandia may increase cardiovascular risk and sought ways to downplay findings that a competing drug might reduce cardiovascular risk."

"Patients trust drug companies with their health and their lives, and GlaxoSmithKline abused that trust." said Sen. Baucus. (Gee, really? Is anyone really surprised that GSK put its own financial interests ahead of a few thousand human lives?)

A separate letter sent to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg by Senators Baucus and Grassley added, "the totality of evidence suggests that GSK was aware of the possible cardiac risks associated with Avandia years before such evidence became public."

The FDA's own research also showed Avandia to be associated with a significant increase in heart attack risk, yet the FDA did nothing to protect the public. The agency's own scientists wrote in 2008, "There is strong evidence that rosiglitazone [Avandia] confers an increased risk of [heart attacks] and heart failure compared to pioglitazone [a rival drug on market]." This evidence went completely ignored at the FDA.

The FDA's famous Dr David Graham -- the key whistleblower on the Vioxx scandal -- concluded from his own research, "Rosiglitazone should be removed from the market."

Even the American Medical Association -- a long-time defender of Big Pharma's drugs -- admitted Avandia was dangerous. Its journal, JAMA, wrote in 2007: "Among patients with impaired glucose tolerance or type 2 diabetes, rosiglitazone use for at least 12 months is associated with a significantly increased risk of myocardial infarction and heart failure, without a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular mortality."

The New England Journal of Medicine also warned about the safety of the drug in an article published in 2007.

Despite these multiple warnings, an FDA panel voted 22 - 1 in favor of keeping Avandia on the market. This is no surprise, of course, to those who know how the FDA really operates (and where its priorities really lie).

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