FDA keeps diabetes pill with heart risks on market

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Federal health regulators will allow GlaxoSmithKline to continue selling a controversial diabetes pill but will restrict access to the once-blockbuster drug because of heart attack risks.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health regulators will allow GlaxoSmithKline to continue selling a controversial diabetes pill but will restrict access to the once-blockbuster drug because of heart attack risks. The Food and Drug Administration says new patients will get a prescription for Avandia only if they can’t control their diabetes with other medications. The FDA’s decision marks the second time in three years that the agency has decided to leave Avandia on the market, despite mounting pressure to recall the drug from outside medical experts, politicians and some of its own scientists. The FDA first approved the drug in 1999 and it became the top-selling diabetes pill in the world. But use has plummeted since a 2007 analysis linked the drug to heart attack risks. Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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