By: Christina England
07 September 2010
GlaxoSmithKline the drug giants, have spent the last few days trying to stay off the bottom of the FTSE 100, especially after the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency said that it’s diabetes treatment Avandia should be pulled from sale, over concerns that it can lead to heart attacks in some patients. This came at a particularly difficult time for GlaxoSmithKline and was yet another nail in their coffin, as Pandemrix, their vaccine for the swine flu, is currently also under the magnifying glass, having been suspended by Finland, Sweden, Poland and Nepal, due to a growing number of reports of adverse reactions.
Last night the UK documentary series Panorama, revealed that despite warnings that the drug Avandia should be removed from the market, millions of prescriptions for the drug were still being written every day and doctors had been ignoring the advice given, by failing to warn patients about potential safety issues. The safety trials which had been studied by the agencies approving the drug, were shown to be substandard and it was revealed that it was GSK themselves who had carried out the safety trials showing only the ones that boosted favourable results. These revelations appeared to have caused GSK to finally hit the bottom of the FTSE with a massive thud, as shares plummeted 19.5p to 1,249p. This was despite their insistence as usual that both Avandia and Pandemrix were both safe and effective.