We may be about to enter a new year, but the FDA has turned back the clock.
Instead of celebrating 2016 by keeping us healthier and safer than ever, the agency just brought a monster drug back from the dead.
This nightmarish “zombie med” is Avandia — the diabetes drug that should have been left six feet under back when a U.S. Senate report blamed it for 83,000 heart attacks.
This drug was so popular for so long that if you have diabetes, you might have even taken it yourself… until a major analysis in 2010 found that Avandia increased the risk of heart attack by between 28 percent and 39 percent.
Another study published the same year found a 27 percent higher risk of stroke, a 25 percent higher risk of heart failure, and a 14 percent greater risk of dropping dead.
Most nations had seen enough. They did to the drug what the drug did to diabetics and buried the darned thing.
But like any movie monster, this one didn’t stay buried for long… not in the United States, anyway. While other countries continue to ban Avandia, the FDA has just made it easier to get.
The agency lifted restrictions on the drug, in part because of a company-funded study that claimed the heart risk wasn’t so bad after all.
Even some of the agency’s own experts say that study isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on as Thomas A. Marciniak, medical team leader of the division of cardiovascular and renal products at the FDA’s Center for Drug Control and Evaluation, called it “inadequately designed.”
He found 12 cases of serious heart problems among patients on Avandia that weren’t listed as adverse events in the study.
He didn’t come out and accuse the drug’s maker, GlaxoSmithKline, of cooking the books… but he came darn close when he said the hidden heart problems “suggest serious flaws with trial conduct.”
So you can’t trust the drug companies (not kidding) and you can’t trust the FDA (ditto). That leaves me, and I won’t lead you astray.
Take yourself out the loop. If you commit to a low-carb diet and work closely with a naturopathic doc, you can cut back on your meds or even leave them behind for good.