On May 21, the FDA issued a warning to endocrinologists, doctors, and consumers that the Type 2 diabetes drug Avandia has been link to an increased risk of heart attack and other ischemic heart-related problems. The link was discovered in a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine, which found that the risk of heart attack was 43% greater in persons taking the drug. The study also found that the drug increased the risk of death from a cardiovascular event by 64%.
GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Avandia, has stated that it strongly disagrees with the study, and maintains that Avandia is safe. Approximately 1 million Americans are currently prescribed the drug to treat their Type 2 diabetes.
The FDA is being criticized for the initial approval of the drug, and for not taking action sooner. Several members of Congress have stated intention to hold hearings on the matter.