If Drugs Were Like Cars I Guess We Would Be a Lot Safer

According to an Institute for Safe Medication Practices report (see here) more than 1000 reports of patient deaths were received by FDA for rosiglitazone (AVANDIA) in the first three quarters of 2009, “more than any other drug we monitor.”

In contrast, at least 34 deaths have been linked to Toyota vehicle problems going back as far as 2004, forcing Toyota to recall more than 8 million vehicles worldwide.

The top executives of Toyota also had to appear before Congress and apologize profusely.

GSK (the maker of AVANDIA), on the other hand, is on an all out campaign to discredit the Senate investigation of AVANDIA.

According to one expert on the need to warn “If people are afraid to buy Toyotas, they should be about 400 times more afraid to take AVANDIA! I base this on an estimate of yearly death rates for AVANDIA (1333) vs Toyota (3.4). ”

Just like you can go out and buy a Honda instead of a Toyota, diabetes patients can go out and buy ACTOS instead of AVANDIA, according to Stephen Nissen, Chief Cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic. If, that is, consumers evaluated drugs like they do automobiles.