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European drug agency extends review of safety of pioglitazone

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d4105 (Published 29 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d4105
  1. Ray Moynihan
  1. 1Byron Bay, Australia

The European Medicines Agency will decide the fate of the type 2 diabetes treatment pioglitazone later in July, after the release of new data indicating that long term use is associated with a slightly raised risk of bladder cancer.

New warnings have been issued in the United States, while French authorities have suspended use of drugs containing pioglitazone, which is sold under brand names including Actos, Glustin, Competact, Glubrava, and Tandemact.

Marketed for more than a decade, pioglitazone had total sales last year of almost £3bn (€3.4bn; $4.8bn) and is an important earner for the Japanese company Takeda. A competitor drug, rosiglitazone (sold as Avandia), was withdrawn from the European market last year after evidence …

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