GlaxoSmithKline accused of skewing debate on drug safety

Posted on the 19th March 2010

More than 90 per cent of scientists who backed a drug at the centre of a safety scare had financial links to the pharmaceutical industry, and 87 per cent had financial links with the drug's manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline.

Avandia, which is prescribed to millions of people with type 2 diabetes, was linked with an increased risk of heart attacks in research published in 2007, and since then debate over whether it should be withdrawn has been ongoing.

Cases such as this renew concern about the influence of pharmaceutical companies on patient safety. The industry has been known to manipulate results and selectively withhold unfavourable data in order to get drugs approved, thereby putting people at risk of unpleasant – and potentially dangerous – side effects.

For more information on the harm done to people and animals by the pharmaceutical industry, read our report Making a Killing.

Read the article in "The Independent"

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