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Stricter Warnings Needed for Diabetes Drugs

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This week, the F.D.A. commissioner announced a decision requiring stricter warnings on labels for Avandia and Actos, two oral medications for diabetes. After a year long review, the FDA determined that the Avandia”can potentially cause heart attacks or other cardiovascular problems” and Actos, a competitor, carries a risk of heart failure.

Today’s New York Times reports that

{i]n a written statement, the commissioner, Andrew C. von Eschenbach, said the agency has asked the makers of Actos and Avandia to carry the more prominent warning, a so-called black box warning, of its heart risks because “despite existing warnings, these drugs were being prescribed to patients with significant heart failure.”

While the hearings themselves were fraught with conflict and accusations of what risks were known by the drug companies and when those risks were discovered, consumers and doctors are more aware of the potential complications from these two drugs.