26 Sep 2010

Diabetes drug used in NZ, despite Europe ban

8:36 am on 26 September 2010

A drug used to treat type two diabetes is still being prescribed in New Zealand, even though it has been taken off the market in Europe and restricted in America.

The European Medicines Agency has suspended the use of Avandia because of an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes in patients using it.

America's Food and Drug Administration says there are significant safety concerns about Avandia and has restricted access to the drug.

Medsafe says Avandia is not publicly funded in New Zealand, and is only used by about 100 patients.

It will review the decision by European and American agencies and says anyone who has concerns should see their doctor.