The Wall Street Journal
Glaxo tried to breathe new life into a drug clearly in trouble if anything that sells $1 billion worth per year can be said to be in trouble. This week's Lancet reports a new clinical trial of diabetics treated with Avandia where cardiovascular risk was no worse with the drug. In 2007 reports of cardiovascular side effects led many to question the use of the medicine and sales were cut in half. Glaxo sponsored the study. The editorial in the journal cited "limitations" of the study. This is the first time I can remember so much criticism of a randomized clinical trial.
This is quoted from the ASCO email update circulated 3/31. We now have four drugs for renal cell cancer! The Wall Street Journal (3/31 Whalen) reports "The US Food and Drug Administration approved for sale a kidney-cancer drug that Novartis AG hopes to eventually expand to a variety of other cancers." Afinitor [everolimus] acts by targeting "a protein in the body that appears to underlie more than half a dozen types of cancer " the company stated.
WSJ today reports a fascinating piece that exposes the dark underbelly of clinical research. "Jonathan Leo a professor of neuro-anatomy at tiny Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate Tenn. posted a letter on the Web site of the British Medical Journal this month criticizing a study that appeared in JAMA last spring. The study concerned the use of the anti-depressant Lexapro in stroke patients.