Avandia & Actos: High Cost, Ineffective, & Harmful ?

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Avandia & Actos: High Cost, Ineffective, & Harmful ?

Postby jimithy » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:55 pm

Both Atos and Avandia are in the news again about problems that seems to have killed patients. I know I had read something about them here so I found the information, trimmed it down and here it is.

The Annals of Internal Medicine (established by the American College of Physicians in 1927) published a federally funded (Health and Human Services) report comparing all diabetes medications.

The Brand name medications, Avandia and Actos, that drug reps are pushing were shown to be less effective than older, cheaper, safer drugs.

216 controlled trials and cohort studies and 2 systematic reviews that addressed benefits and harms of oral diabetes drug classes available in the United States were identified and analyzed.

Besides being just as effective as newer drugs with blood sugar control, Metformin (Glucophage) had another positive effect.

Metformin decreased LDL cholesterol levels by about 0.26 mmol/L (10 mg/dL), whereas other oral agents had no obvious effects on LDL cholesterol levels. Most agents other than metformin increased body weight by 1 to 5 kg. Sulfonylureas and repaglinide were associated with greater risk for hypoglycemia, thiazolidinediones with greater risk for heart failure, and metformin with greater risk for gastrointestinal problems compared with other oral agents. Lactic acidosis was no more common in metformin recipients without comorbid conditions than in recipients of other oral diabetes agents.

Conclusions: Compared with newer, more expensive agents (thiazolidinediones, {alpha}-glucosidase inhibitors, and meglitinides), older agents (second-generation sulfonylureas and metformin) have similar or superior effects on glycemic control, lipids, and other intermediate end points.
http://www.annals.org/cgi/content/full/ ... 80-00178v1

This extremely extensive government sponsored analysis of over 200 controlled drug trial studies (usually commissioned by the company trying to sell the drug) that was published by a very respected journal says that Metformin (Glucophage) is better and safer than the really expensive diabetes drugs.

Today's prices indicate that Actos 30mg typically costs over $230 per month. Avandia 4mg typically costs over $140 per month. The costs for the extended time-release version of Metformin (Glucophage) from the "drug war" stores is $4 / month. See List of lists of "Price-War" Low Cost Generic Drugs. This means you can be spending over 50 times as much money on a less effective drug that has a better chance of killing you!

The FDA issued a Black Box warning for Avandia and Actos. Manufacturers of Some Diabetes Drugs to Strengthen Warning on Heart Failure Risk Companies Will Include Boxed Warning on Drug Label.

Finally on 9/23/2010 the FDA significantly restricts access to the diabetes drug Avandia
[09-23-2010] The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it will significantly restrict the use of the diabetes drug Avandia (rosiglitazone) to patients with Type 2 diabetes who cannot control their diabetes on other medications. These new restrictions are in response to data that suggest an elevated risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke, in patients treated with Avandia.
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