A Food and Drug Administration panel is looking at a new analysis on the diabetes drug Avandia, which suggests the pill is just as safe as older diabetes drugs.
The FDA restricted use of the drug in 2010 after research suggested Avandia increased the risk of heart attack.
"There was a lot of conflicting information. I think the majority of the information I saw suggested there was not a problem. But the doctor who first raised concerns about Avandia maintains it's a dangerous drug and should not be given to anyone," said Dr. Andrew Drexler, Director of the UCLA Gonda (Goldschmied) Diabetes Center.
"This drug should be off the market, it is off the market in almost every country in the world, but the U.S," said Dr. Steven Nissen with the Cleveland Clinic.
Just 3,000 people currently take Avandia in the U.S. Four years ago, doctors wrote more than 2.5 million prescriptions for it. GlaxoSmithKline makes Avandia . The company says the drug should remain available for patients with hard-to-treat diabetes.
Steve Poucher was taken off Avandia in 2011 after the FDA's original decision. He has tried many diabetes drugs on the market. "It's the only drug that worked. Put it this way -- without the Avandia I could not control my diabetes," Poucher said. His doctor just put him back on the drug. He says it makes sense that the FDA is taking another look at Avandia. "I know the benefits. I also know the risks. I read the studies," he said. Poucher says he's anxious to see what he FDA decides.
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