MedPage Today Poll Results Not So Sweet For Diabetes Drug

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A majority of healthcare professionals responding to an online survey conducted by MedPage Today, LLC stated that they will not prescribe rosiglitazone (Avandia) for their patients with type 2 diabetes, and one in four believe that the drug should be pulled off the market.

Last week's acknowledgment by a special FDA advisory panel that rosiglitazone increases the risk of ischemic heart disease in patients with type 2 diabetes has raised concerns about the drug's safety.

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Although 36% of MedPage Today survey respondents say they will continue to prescribe rosiglitazone for select patients, in accordance with the FDA panel's recommendation, 55% said they will no longer prescribe the drug. And 23% said that it should be taken off the market entirely.

"As part of our real-time medical news coverage, we have been closely monitoring the developing rosiglitazone story," said Robert Stern, President and CEO of MedPage Today. "Because the potential safety issues associated with this drug could have an impact on the thousands of patients being treated for type 2 diabetes, we felt it was important to hear directly from our readers how they are reacting to this news and how it will affect the care of their patients."

The spring 2007 publication of a meta-analysis showing that rosiglitazone carries a 43% increase in the relative risk of heart attack in patients with type 2 diabetes touched off the firestorm that resulted in the special FDA hearing. The beleaguered drug held 37% of the US oral anti-diabetic market in 2006.

It is possible, however, that clinicians may soften their current negative stance on rosiglitazone over time. In a separate MedPage Today poll conducted just after the release of the meta-analysis this spring, three-quarters of the respondents stated that they had stopped writing new prescriptions for the drug.

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