Glaxo 'downplayed' warning on heart-attack risk from Aids drug
Extract from The Independent
"The multinational drugs company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) downplayed an early warning about the rising number of people who have suffered heart attacks after using one of its drugs, abacavir. An anti-Aids medication, abacavir is taken by tens of thousands of people worldwide.
GSK was officially told of the possible risk in May 2005, three years before it issued a statement to its investors saying that the findings of an even stronger potential link between heart attacks and abacavir are "unexpected" and "unconfirmed". The company also said that it could find no association between abacavir use and heart attacks following a trawl through its internal data. However, it failed to mention that its own summary of product characteristics issued when the drug was launched in the late 1990s had described "mild myocardial degeneration" in mice and rats given the drug for two years.
Some scientists moni-toring the safety of Aids drugs are privately furious with GSK for downplaying the significance of one of the biggest safety trials of abacavir – one of several anti-virals taken by Aids patients in combined HIV therapy – when the findings were published last month.
"GSK was extraordinarily well prepared in terms of a statement that downplayed the significance of the findings," said a scientist close to the safety study. "As a consequence, people are confused. They think there is something wrong with the study because GSK said it cannot find evidence to support findings of a link with myocardial infarction [heart attack]."
Alastair Benbow, European medical director for GSK, said the company takes information about drug safety seriously but did not want to highlight what may be "spurious observations" about abacavir.
The first public sign that abacavir may be linked with increased heart attack risk emerged this April when The Lancet published the worldwide "DAD" study into adverse reactions to anti-HIV drugs after clinical observations of 33,347 Aids patients across Europe, Australia and the US.
The study found that the risk of having a heart attack in patients taking abacavir was almost double that of HIV patients who did not take the drug."
In fact there are MANY other prescription drugs that also increase the risk of heart attack: - all the drugs that cause weight gain, in fact. That is all tricyclic antidepressants, e.g. amitriptyline, most steroids, e.g. prednisone, prednisolone, HRT and some contraceptives, some anti-psychotics and many other drugs.
For your health's sake, you should avoid prescribed drugs if you possibly can.
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Children and Obesity
http://www.wildeaboutsteroids.co.uk/socio.html - social and economic considerations