TOPICS - Avandia Continued
In type 2 diabetes, patients do not produce enough insulin, a hormone needed to convert sugar and other food into energy, or their cells ignore the insulin that is being produced. Avandia increases the sensitivity of the cells to insulin, thereby lowering blood sugar.
Avandia works by affecting what are known as peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptors or PPARs. These are receptors in a cell’s nucleus that affect a broad range of human genes. Many experimental PPAR drugs have been associated with hazards to the heart.
In February, 2010, the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance concluded that the manufacturer of Avandia was aware of the possible cardiac risks associated with Avandia years before such evidence became public. Based on this knowledge, the manufacturer had a duty to sufficiently warn patients and the FDA in a timely manner. Instead, the drug company intimidated independent physicians, focused on strategies to minimize findings that Avandia may increase cardiovascular risk, and sought ways to downplay findings that the rival drug, Actos, might reduce cardiovascular risk.
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