Consumer Reports says that older, not newer, drugs are better for those with Type-2 diabetes. New, heavily advertised drugs such as “Avandia and Actos” are more expensive but not more effective. Older drugs are also as safe “if not safer” than the new drugs.
From Consumer Reports:
Diabetes drugs received wide attention last spring when research found a possible link between rosiglitazone (Avandia) and a higher risk of heart attacks. While those risks remain unclear, the CR Best Buy Drug report cites other reasons that rosiglitazone and the related drug pioglitazone (Actos) are not wise first choices for most people with diabetes, including their higher risk of heart failure compared with other diabetes drugs. Indeed, in May 2007 the Food and Drug Administration requested that the manufacturers of Actos and Avandia put a high-profile “black-box” warning about the risk of heart failure on the labels of the two drugs.
Instead, the report recommends that most people with diabetes first talk with their doctor about taking metformin (Glucophage and generic). That medicine not only controls blood sugar as effectively as all other diabetes drugs, but also reduces the level of “bad” LDL cholesterol, doesn’t cause weight gain, and is less likely than most diabetes drugs to cause dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Moreover, the generic version of the drug costs just $38 to $60 per month compared with $142 to $262 for Actos and Avandia, depending on the dose.
Basically, what the report says is that these new drugs Actos and Avandia are really only appropriate for the small number of patients for whom “metformin, glimepiride, or glipizide prove ineffective or intolerable.”
Remember, just because it’s new doesn’t mean it’s better!
For more information about alternatives to newer pricier drugs, you can visit Consumer Report’s Best Buy Drugs, and for more info about this report, click on over to Consumer Reports.
Older drugs are the best choice for most people with type 2 diabetes [Consumer Reports]