Friday, May 25, 2007

experts say Avandia not as dangerous as thought (registration required)

It looks like some medical experts are not too happy with the coverage of the Avandia/cardiovascular risk study. Apparently the limitations of the study stating that Avandia carries an increased risk of cardiovascular events were not noted. Also, the accompanying editorial was written by physicians who make a living saying that medication "x" is dangerous and the FDA needs to do a better job of oversight. Finally, there is concern that the New England Journal of Medicine should not have published the study at all, implying another lesser known journal should have published it. The media coverage is also questioned. This doesn't make for good press in the local newspaper, but it helps me answer patients' questions.

One other point, patients (and the media) tend to believe the doctors who say that medicine "x" is bad for you and can harm you more than doctors who say a product is safe. Meanwhile, doctors are raked through the coals for being pawns of the pharmaceutical companies, while the ones who complain about the FDA and "Big Pharma" make a nice living and a nice name for themselves if they keep finding drugs to condemn. What happens to them if too many drugs are safe?

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