The Food and Drug Administration is charged with protecting the public health, but some of its recent actions raise serious questions about drug safety.
One puzzle is its shifting stance on the diabetes drug rosiglitazone (Avandia). Several years ago, Avandia was marketed aggressively and widely prescribed. In its heyday, it earned more than $3 billion a year, making it the most successful diabetes drug of all time. Then cardiologist Steve Nissen, M.D., published an article in the New England Journal of Medicine (June 14, 2007) revealing a 43 percent increased risk of heart attack among patients taking Avandia.