We haven't heard anything for a while about Avandia, GlaxoSmithKline's diabetes drug that has been linked to a higher risk of heart attacks, but that doesn't mean no one has been paying attention. Actually, there's been an ongoing investigation in the Senate and House over whether GlaxoSmithKline actively suppressed information about the drug's link to heart attacks, and also whether the FDA ignored what evidence it did have.
Now we find out that in the course of the investigation, it has come up that another doctor noticed the link soon after Avandia was released. Dr. Mary Money, an internist in Hagerstown, MD, raised concerns back in 2000, but the company dismissed her concerns and the concerns of her colleague; the FDA was unresponsive.
Further, GlaxoSmithKline (then SmithKline Beecham) then wrote a letter to Dr. Money's hospital asking it to prevent the doctor from discussing the problems with any of her colleagues. This leaves us to wonder how many other doctors may have had their observations suppressed in order to protect GlaxoSmithKline's bottom line.
To learn more about the investigation:
- read this Wall Street Journal piece (reg. req.)