VA and Nissen Team Up To Leave Diabetes Uncontrolled

  • by: |
  • 10/18/2007
The VA yanks Avandia from the formulary...which means more people will just tough it out on one less diabetes drug.

If this is evidence-based medicine give me science fiction. Where's Dr. McCoy when you need him?

Here's a question from Stephanie Saul's piece on the VA's Avandia hook...

Dr. Jon LeCroy, a senior pharmaceuticals analyst for the investment and research firm Natixis Bleichroeder, said that before Dr. Nissen’s article last May, about one million prescriptions were being written each month for Avandia.

As of September, Avandia prescriptions had declined about 60 percent, to 426,000 a month, according to Dr. LeCroy.

But he said there had not been a corresponding increase in the use of other drugs for diabetes, indicating that some patients who had stopped taking Avandia had not replaced it in their drug regimens. Diabetes patients often take more than one medication at a time for their conditions.

Actos, a drug similar to Avandia that some studies indicate does not carry the same heart risk, has picked up 100,000 prescriptions a month, but that does not account for the drop of almost 600,000 in Avandia prescriptions.

Ms. Rhyne, of Glaxo, said a survey had shown that 50 percent of patients who discontinued Avandia did not begin another therapy as a substitute. She questioned whether those patients were placing themselves at risk for uncontrolled diabetes.

Here's Nissen's number at the Cleveland Clinic. (216) 445-6852. Someone should call and ask him. He's giddy over his "success."

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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