by Mike Adams
the Health Ranger
February 23, 2010
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
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
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
"There is strong evidence that
rosiglitazone [Avandia] confers
an increased risk of [heart attacks] and heart failure compared
pioglitazone [a rival drug on
This evidence went completely ignored at
The FDA's famous Dr David Graham - the key whistleblower on
Vioxx scandal - concluded from his
"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
What does it all mean?
Are you kidding me?
A drug company hid data that its
high-profit drug was linked to increased risk of heart
A drug company intimidated
physicians and got away with hoodwinking the public while
raking in billions of dollars in sales for a drug that the
FDA's own scientists said should be pulled from the market?
Sounds like business as usual at the
FDA, the "sweep it under the rug" division of the pharmaceutical
industry. Once again, Dr David Graham turns out to be the sharpest
guy in the room while having the courage to tell the truth even when
surrounded by an agency full of morons and criminals.
The drug industry must hate this guy. But they can't get rid of him
because he's one of the very few scientists in the FDA who is
actually committed to protecting the public.
Gee, what a concept, huh? The FDA as a
whole abandoned that idea so long ago that virtually nobody there
even remembers what it means. Protect the public? What do you mean?
As in, lose profits by banning dangerous drugs that just happen to
be making big money?
That's unthinkable at the FDA as we know it today. The agency exists
to promote pharmaceuticals, not to limit their sales just because a
hundred thousand people happen to drop dead each year from taking
When it comes to safety vs. profits, the FDA chooses profits for Big
Pharma time and time again.
Do the math on this:
If Avandia is linked to 83,000
heart attacks, and if roughly 50% of those are fatal (that's
just an estimate), then Avandia could conceivably be the
cause of 40,000 deaths.
The terrorist attacks of 9/11
killed roughly 3,000 Americans, and yet just one drug that
has been mysteriously kept on the market by the FDA
appears to have killed more than ten times as many Americans
as the terrorists.
So what does that make the FDA? More
dangerous than the terrorists, of course!
So why is the FDA still allowed to operate in America if it's such a
dangerous organization that's killing so many American citizens?
Because it's profitable, of course!
There's one thing that's true about both WAR and MEDICINE:
As long as the right corporations
are making money, it really doesn't matter how many people die
in the process.
And for all those diabetic Americans
struggling to find improved health right now, there's something you
desperately need to know:
There's a price to putting your
faith in the FDA, the drug companies and your pill-pushing
doctor. That price may very well be your own life.
Diabetes has a cure, you know.
You can reverse it in as little as four
days by changing your diet. Read the books on diabetes by Dr
Gabriel Cousens or Dr
Julian Whitaker. Or read more
about diabetes on
full report from the U.S. Senate
Sources for this story include: