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3123 PWToday Stories

Make no bones

21 Jan 09

Heal Thyself

09 Jan 09

Bone fracture risk for women on type 2 diabetes drugs

10 Dec 08


A study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal claims that long-term use of GSK's Avandia (rosiglitazone) and Takeda's Actos (pioglitzone) doubles the risk of bone fractures in women with type 2 diabetes. The study at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, examined data from 10 previous trials, involving a total of 13,715 patients. The effects were mostly among elderly, postmenopausal women.

Two million prescriptions were written for rosigliatzone and pioglitazone in the UK alone last year.

Although The European Medicines Agency carried out a safety review of rosiglitazone and pioglitzone last year, and concluded their benefits outweighed their risks, the researchers argued the drugs had relatively modest therapeutic effects, and the regulators should reconsider.

Lead researcher Dr Yoon Loke, of the University of East Anglia, said: "Women with type 2 diabetes are already at an increased risk of fractures - with a near doubling in the risk of hip fractures - so any additional risk from thiazolidinedione therapy could have a considerable impact on public health."

GlaxoSmithKline, which markets rosiglitazone as Avandia, said the safety and effectiveness of the drug was backed by one of the largest clinical trial programmes ever undertaken for any medicine, with 52,000 patients studied.

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