By now, you're probably aware of the latest drug scandal: The common diabetes drug Avandia increases your risk of having a heart attack. And it's not a small increase. It actually raises your risk of heart attack by 43%!

We first heard about Avandia's deadly side effect in May. Since then, the number of people who have had Avandia-related heart attacks has tripled. Why the big increase? Diabetics are already at a higher risk for heart attack. Many people had a heart attack while taking the drug (and survived the attack), but probably didn't think to attribute it to the drug. When they heard about the new study, they realized the drug caused their attack. And the reports began to flow. Next, we'll likely see a huge class-action lawsuit - the only justice these folks will receive.

They should include the FDA in the lawsuit. The FDA's safety office recommended the strongest possible warning for Avandia - only to have their superiors overrule it. The safety office issued that memo way back on July 16, 2002. That should tell you that the FDA is not there to protect you. It's there to protect whatever company those in power at the FDA own stock in.

Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa says, "The FDA didn't take that advice. Instead, the warning about congestive heart failure risks with this drug is currently buried." Not only should these folks sue the FDA, the we all should insist that the government do away with the FDA as we know it. Then they should rebuild it on one foundation and one foundation only: To assess the safety of a treatment. That's it. I say leave it to the physician to determine the usefulness of a therapy.

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Remember, the FDA has a long and sordid history of destroying and suppressing therapies that are safe and challenge their Big Pharma clients. They even throw the developers of such therapies in prison. Why aren't the executives of murderous Big Pharma going to prison? You know the answer.

I've said for years that most drugs have serious problems. They suppress one symptom only to create huge problems elsewhere. In this case, Avandia may reduce your blood sugar. But it raises your risk of heart attack. Is it any wonder health care costs are exploding? People who take drugs are treating one symptom with the drug, only to cause other health problems elsewhere

All drugs are toxic. That's what makes them drugs and the reason you have to get a prescription to buy it. And many will have side effects similar to Avandia. So avoid them whenever possible.

If you must take a drug for diabetes, the safest is metformin. It's made from a plant - the French lilac - so it has a natural molecule. But you don't need metformin to treat type-2 diabetes. I can turn around any case of type-2 diabetes if the person is willing to follow my diet and lifestyle recommendations. I've written about these in my newsletter. If you're a subscriber, you have access to all of these articles on my website:
www.secondopinionnewsletter.com.




www.nejm.org May 21, 2007

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