The FDA said on Wednesday that the controversial diabetes drug Avandia (generically known as rosiglitazone) will no longer be available in most pharmacies. It will be available only from selected certified pharmacies. Patients and physicians will have to go through educational programs before it can be prescribed. The physician and patients will be enrolled in what is being called the Avandia-Rosiglitazone Medicines Access Program.
This drug became extremely popular following its release in 1999 as it proved extremely effective in the management of Type 2 diabetes. However, a study in 2007 suggested a 40% increase in cardiovascular disease in patients taking Avandia.
The changes apply to not only Avandia, but also Avandament, and Avandaryl both contain rosiglitazone in conjunction with other drugs. The drug will be a last resort drug, only available to patients whose diabetes cannot be controlled on other medication.