Once the superstar of the medical world and the number one darling of doctors for the treatment of diabetes, Avandia is now a big disgrace. The image of Britney Spears comes to mind when considering this story. After all, the rise and fall of Avandia does make for great tabloid reading. Avandia reached the market as a one of a kind treatment for diabetes and within a few years was at the top of the heap making billions of dollars for its maker GlaxoSmithKline. In the past few years there has been a vague undercurrent of trouble with this drug including limited availability, due to what Glaxo said were problems with its manufacture. The company blamed it on hurricane damage to its factory. Then came the sudden, dramatic tumble from the top when the media broke the story of a possible ugly side to this beauty (http://blog.metabolism.com/2007/10/01/the-avandia-debate-common-sense-required/).
Now Avandia and its maker can’t seem to get out of their own way. Stories have circulated about mishandling of data, and intimidation of Avandia’s critics by Glaxo. Most recently the search for culprits has brought other celebs such as Bill Gates into the circus spotlight.
Meanwhile, not even a kind word from the FDA can restore Avandia’s former glitter. Doctors all over the country have turned their backs on their former darling and are even snickering among themselves about the scandal. It seems like Avandia has followed closely in the footsteps of Britney Spears. I wonder when it will be that the paparazzi snaps a picture of the Avandia box in a compromised position in a seedy nightclub.