Diabetes Dynamics USA reports on new research that shows just over 50% of diabetics withdrawn from Avandia were changed to new anti=diabetic drugs Januvia or Byetta when news spread that something was wrong with the drug they were taking. Can you imagine the worry and concern that caused?
International Client Services director Philip O'Hagan said that TNS Healthcare observed a rise in Avandia withdrawals and an increase in pioglitazone withdrawal as well. With the pioglitazone withdrawal only 10% were due to cardiac problems while those with the Avandia withdrawals, 20% were due to cardiac issues.
Only half of the Avandia change resulted in the switch to another drug. In 40% the change was only in the dosage. In the other 10% the doctors withdrew their patients from Avandia but did not make any other treatment change.
Diabetes Dynamics will continue to track the changes. They will note which of the drugs will lose or gain. They know that the prescription pattern will be volatile for a period of time. They will check what happens to the patients who changed their treatment.
Why would this have to happen anyway? Had there been more care in the clinical trials instead of rushing through it for financial gain, perhaps the side effects did not occur and then these changes the diabetics will not have to go through. Don't get me wrong, I am all for changes myself, but done the right way!
Rushing through the clinical trials and getting the FDA approval on the fast track is not the way to go, in my humble opinion. It smells something fishy. It is almost akin to changes in the computer operating system with not all the bugs ironed out. The end users are left to find this out and report the bug themselves. The powers-that-be then work on it to correct the system.
At least changes in the computer system are not life-threatening which is the opposite is true with the medications. Something could go horribly wrong if not all aspects of the medication are addressed and worked on before the release. Let us not rush through things and think more of the diabetics who will have to suffer more if we do.