The makers of Actos (pioglitazone), Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd., announced they are to launch a large advertising campaign in the USA for their diabetes drug; following a safety warning issued a day before for Avandia (rosiglitazone), a rival medication.

Local and weekly newspapers throughout the country will feature full-page adverts. The headline will contain the following text׃
“If you have type 2 diabetes, Actos has been shown to lower blood sugar without increasing your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.”

Avandia is GlaxoSmikline Plc’s second-largest selling drug. The Food and Drug Administration has recently announced that this drug should carry a black-box warning that the risk of heart attacks or chest pains may be elevated for patients taking Avandia.

Ever since May of this year, when news about Avandia’s heart attack risk started coming out, sales have plummeted – Actos (Takeda’s rival diabetes drug) has done well as a result of Avandia’s fall. Many doctors have switched their patients from Avandia to Actos. Before negative news regarding Avandia came out, Avandia and Actos had virtually the same level of US sales.

Both medications belong to the same class of drugs and are indicated for patients with diabetes type 2 – they improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Actos is the only other marketed medication that works in the same way as Avandia.

Takeda, among other diabetes drug manufacturers, has been asked by the FDA to note in their labels that their diabetes medications have not been proven to lower cardiovascular risk.

Takeda’s Actos adverts stress that a major study showed that the drug does not raise heart attack risk or stroke risk in patients.

“Avandia Stays On Market With Increased Boxed Warning While Safety Assessed”

Written by׃ Christian Nordqvist