Posts Tagged ‘Sidney Wolfe’

Sid Wolfe discusses weight loss drugs on ABC World News.

Last night, our own Sid Wolfe was on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer to discuss the dangers of weight loss drugs. Check out the video by clicking the photo above.

Remember to check out worstpills.org for comprehensive information on the safety of the drugs you take every day.

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So, the long-awaited new guidelines from the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the group responsible for training doctors in the U.S., on medical resident work hours frankly weren’t worth the wait.

The group reformed very little about the length of shifts that medical residents pull (sometimes marathon shifts of 30 continuous hours, twice a week), really only shortening the shifts for residents in the ICU. Yes, those residents need to be alert, but so do doctors in all divisions.

The coalition WakeUpDoctor.org, which Public Citizen is a part of, issued a report card yesterday to see how the ACGME’s guidelines lined up to recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2008. How did they do? (more…)

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As government officials try to get to the bottom of who is to blame for the massive BP oil spill, Public Citizen has been featured in top media coverage of the catastrophe. Tyson Slocum, Public Citizen’s Energy Program director, has become a go-to guy on the issue, being interviewed on radio and television networks across the country. Slocum was featured on Bloomberg TV’s “Inside Track,” SiriusXM/POTUS radio talking about the government’s reaction to the spill and CBS Radio’s “The John Carney” show about BP’s history of safety records. He noted that BP has “one of the worst safety records of any oil company operating in America.”

Slocum made headlines in Canada and Cuba, as well. Slocum has been featured in a variety of articles from coast to coast including The New York Times and Los Angeles Times. Public Citizen also has been quoted on the issue by Reuters, Albany Times Union, Politico, The Washington Independent, The NACS, “The People’s Voice,” 2TheAdvocate.com and The Palestine Telegraph.

Also making headlines is Public Citizen calling on the Food and Drug Administration to stop the risky trail of GlaxoSmithKline’s diabetes drug, Avandia. The drug is believed to put patients at risk for heart attack and chest pain.

As Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, wrote in a letter to the FDA, which was quoted in a Reuters article:

The Avandia trial is “exposing thousands of high-risk patients with diabetes to a drug with an unfavorable safety profile and no clinical advantage over its comparator.”

Public Citizen’s efforts to stop the trial have gained international attention. Sidney Wolfe was quoted on CBC across Canada as well as in a Metro Canada Toronto story on the trial. The story gained attention in parts of Europe and was featured on Pharmacy Europe, a website for European hospitals and clinical pharmacists. Back in the States, Public Citizen was quoted in the Los Angeles Times, Post Chronicle, National Post, Business Spectator, and msnbc.com.

Public Citizen has also made headlines with many other issues including, the climate bill, Capitol Hill’s limits on lobbying and Florida’s doctor discipline system. Keep checking back for more!

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We’ve written about the dangers of the diabetes drug Avandia and have told Congress about an unethical international clinical trial, requested by the FDA, being performed by Avandia’s manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline.

Now Public Citizen and Canadian researcher/physician David Juurlink go straight to the source, sending a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg asking her to halt the study, which pits Avandia against its competitor, Actos.

From the Reuters story:

“A wealth of data now suggests” that Avandia carries greater risks than Actos, the researchers said. Patients are also not adequately informed about the safety differences between the two medicines when deciding whether to participate in the trial, they added.

But FDA officials, who have said they are already taking a closer look at Avandia, are not likely to act so quickly.

And the Los Angeles Times:

In act, both drugs [Avandia and Actos] have been tagged with safety issues: In addition to raising rates of cardiovascular events, the class of Type 2 diabetes drugs known as thiazolidinediones (or TZDs) have been linked in studies to higher rates of edema, macular edema, bony fractures, anemia and acute liver injury. Older diabetes medicine such as metformin and sulfonylurea are widely believed to be safer alternatives.

But to no avail — the FDA likely won’t examine the study until July, FiercePharma reports.

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Public Citizen has been concerned about the heart dangers caused by the diebetes drug Avandia for a decade. But to add insult to injury, the makers of the drug are also now involved in an international unethical study involving it. If that weren’t bad enough, this study was ordered by the FDA. What?! Something isn’t right here.

Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, testified on the Hill yesterday in a House appropriations subcommittee hearing on Avandia. He presented new data since we last urged the FDA in 2008 to remove Avandia from the market.

GlaxoSmithKline, Avandia’s manufacturer, pressed forward with the FDA-requested study, drawing a pool of 16,000 subjects from 14 countries. It pits the diabetes drug against its competitor, Actos, even though some FDA officials have called the trial “exploitive of patients.”

“Thousands of high-risk patients with diabetes are being needlessly exposed to a drug with an unfavorable safety profile and no clinical advantage,” Wolfe told the lawmakers.

But FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg defended the study, as reported by the AP and picked up by Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Hopefully it won’t take until the end of the study in 2015 for someone to step in and protect these patients, who are suffering from type 2 diabetes without knowing that their so-called treatment could be causing them further harm.

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