July 12, 2013

Should We Be Concerned About Oral Diabetes Drugs?

Many people are concerned about the side effects of oral diabetes drugs. We have been hearing a lot about them recently and some of the drugs may be dangerous for some people while other people have little or no lasting effects. This I think has to do with the individual and the dosage they are taking. Am I personally concerned? No, and only because I am on insulin and metformin.

I am concerned about my fellow people with type 2 diabetes that are using oral diabetes drugs, and I think rightfully so. I have had blogs in this year pointing out the dangers of the sulfonylureas, thiazolidinediones, DPP-4 inhibitors, and so far, I have passed on the new seventh class of oral drugs, canagliflozin, because it is so new. The FDA has ordered more trials and is studying it further even though it has been approved.

Dr. Peter C. Butler is the chairman of endocrinology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Butler is the lone doctor fighting Big Pharma and their big guns inside the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Based on his latest study, both the Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency have begun investigations that could lead to new warnings on the drugs or even to their removal from the market.

““The data are inconclusive,” said Dr. Robert Ratner, chief scientific and medical officer of the American Diabetes Association. He said even if there were some excess risk, it would be “exceptionally low.”” This is the same Dr. Robert Ratner, chief scientific and medical officer for the ADA that says, Many people with type 2 diabetes who are on medications don't need to do home glucose monitoring at all," Therefore I have a hard time considering him reliable as he is one pushing oral medications and he will criticize anyone creating doubt.

Whether you believe Dr. Butler, you need to read some of the information in the above link. Considering that the majority of type 2 patients are over 50, when he discovers something that raises red flags, he should be listened to and heeded. “Dr. Butler said that after his group presented its rat findings to Merck, “I never heard from them again,” except from company lawyers asking when the study would be published.” “He said that studies done by the drug companies that led to the drugs’ approval by the F.D.A. tended to use young healthy animals that would not be expected to get pancreatic cancer.”

This in a big way pulls the curtains back on how Big Pharma does their research and why they have good results.

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