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FDA to pull Avandia from pharmacy shelves by November 18

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The FDA has ordered the removal of Avandia from all US pharmacies by November 18th, although the drug will be available to some only through a special program. This includes combination therapies such as Advandemet and Avandaryl as well.

Once considered to be the world’s “best selling diabetes pill” (with sales over $3 billion a year) Avandia has been linked to a higher rate of heart attack in patients.Use of Avandia will now “ be restricted to individuals already being successfully treated with the drug, whose blood sugar can not be controlled with any other anti-diabetic medications.” In addition, it is necessary that patients consult with their healthcare provider and indicate that they do not want to use Actos or another pioglitazone medication, such as Actosplus Met, Actosplus Met XR or Duetact.

“Healthcare providers and patients must be enrolled in the Avandia-rosiglitazone Medicines Program in order to prescribe and receive rosiglitazone medicines,” the Agency announced. “Patients will receive their meds through specially certified mail order pharmacies”

However, Mary Anne Rhyne, a spokesperson for GlaxoSmithKline, which manufactures the drug, warned that patients should not abruptly stop taking their diabetes medicines without first discussing it with their doctors.”

In addition, it is necessary for patients to tell their healthcare provider if they do not want to use Actos or another pioglitazone medication, such as Actosplus Met, Actosplus Met XR or Duetact.

Connecticut residents with any questions can contact the FDA at 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20993 ·1-888-463-6332. You can also reach the Connecticut Dept. of Health at 410 Captial Ave.,Hartford, CT 06134 860 509-8000.

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