An advocacy group has called for the Food and Drug Administration to immediately ban the diabetes drug Avandia, due to serious health concerns.
According to Public Citizen, the drug – manufactured by pharmaceutical company Glaxo-SmithKline – can cause liver failure and other life-threatening conditions.
The group has published a statement in Diabetes Care which cites 14 cases of liver failure that can apparently be linked to Avandia. In 12 instances, the condition resulted in death.
In addition to liver toxicity, the group warns that the medication has been linked to an increased risk of heart attacks, heart failure, bone fractures and complications from vision problems.
"The scientific consensus against Avandia is overwhelming," commented Public Citizen’s Dr. Sidney Wolfe.
"The timing of these findings should give the FDA the momentum it needs to act swiftly to prevent further needless deaths and health damage by banning this drug."
In May 2007, the FDA issued an alert about the heart attack risks associated with Avandia, saying that it would continue to assess its potential dangers.