FDA panel sees greater heart risks with Avandia

July 14, 2010 10:57:21 AM PDT
Federal health experts say the much-debated diabetes pill Avandia increases the risk of heart attack compared to other diabetes drugs. A majority of 33 expert panelists said the former blockbuster drug is riskier than older diabetes medicines, including its closest competitor.

The Food and Drug Administration has convened the panel to help untangle reams of conflicting data over whether the former blockbuster Avandia increases heart risks.

The FDA is not required to follow the group's advice, though it often does.

Avandia has been under federal scrutiny since 2007, when an analysis first suggested it might cause heart attack.

The panel will vote later this afternoon on whether to withdraw GlaxoSmithKline's drug.