Avandia should be suspended, says European regulator

The diabetes drug Avandia (rosiglitazone) should be suspended from use in Europe, according to the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The EMA recommended drugs Avandia, Avandamet and Avaglim should be suspended from sale in Europe. It follows a review of the evidence for safety of the drugs by the EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP).

MHRA chief executive Professor Kent Woods said: 'Today’s suspension means that clinicians should review all patients currently on rosiglitazone and take appropriate action, according to the individual clinical situation, to change to another suitable treatment.’

The CHMP said data have suggested a possible increased risk of ischaemic heart disease associated with the use of rosiglitazone.

The committee concluded that ‘the benefits of rosiglitazone no longer outweigh its risks and recommended the suspension of the marketing authorisation of the medicines’.

As such, it will no longer be available in Europe within the next few months, unless further data showing benefit can be presented by the manufacturer.

Patients who are currently taking these medicines should make an appointment with their doctor to discuss suitable alternative treatments, the EMA said.

Patients are advised not to stop their treatment without speaking to their doctor.

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