There is an interesting footnote to the expected lawsuits regarding Avandia that our Avandia attorneys wrote about a few days ago. The authors of the New England Journal of Medicine article, who discovered the cardiovascular risks associated with the diabetes drug Avandia, found the material for their study on the Avandia manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline’s website.
As part of a Paxil-related settlement with the state of New York a few years ago, Glaxo Smith Kline agreed to post the results of all clinical trials to its website, including the clinical trials for Avandia. Medical experts are expected to pressure legislators to require drug makers to fully disclose the result of all clinical trials.
A cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Steven Nissen, who was one of the first doctors to point out the cardic problems caused by Vioxx, came across the Glaxo website while researching Avandia last year. He and a colleague quickly analyzed the data, and The New England Journal of Medicine released its finding that Avandia posed a heightened cardiac risk. Apparently, Glaxo fought to avoid publishing the data for Avandia and its other pharmaceutical drugs.
The New York Times article reporting on this story would seem to suggest this agreement came back to bite Glaxo. But I suspect the real truth is that less people will suffer serious or fatal injuries as a result of it. This is good for public safety and, in the end, good for Glaxo’s bottom line.