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A panel of outside medical experts met last week to discuss
the need for new diabetes medications to undergo more extensive testing to
prove that they do not increase the likelihood of cardiovascular problems. The panel
voted overwhelmingly, 14-2, to require the new regulations for diabetes medications.
Over the past year the diabetes medications Avandia and Actos have been at the center of the controversy after studies linked the drugs to an
increased risk of heart attack and stroke among other heart conditions.

The panel
recommended the FDA instruct drug manufacturers to conduct long-term studies in
order to rule out cardiovascular risks in the diabetes drugs. Most panel
members also suggested that companies start the studies before the drug is
approved and complete them after approval.

The FDA is
not required to follow the advice of advisory panels but usually does.

studies have shown that the diabetes epidemic is not going away anytime soon.
Over the past two years we have seen a 17 percent increase in the number of
people with diabetes, bringing the number up to 24 million in the US alone.
With more people taking diabetes medications than ever before, the safety of
these medications should be of the utmost concern to the FDA.

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