Of course, the press picked up on that right away because it made for a much more interesting story. It had, as they say, more human interest.
Now, instead of a beast we have Avandia, a blockbuster reeling to and fro atop the diabetes marketing tower ready to take a nose dive to the ground -- in fact it may already be on the way down.
"The total number of Avandia prescriptions written by physicians has fallen by 20% since safety concerns about the drug surfaced last month," said Chris Viehbacher, president of London-based Glaxo's pharmaceuticals business in the U.S. "The number of Avandia prescriptions doctors are writing for new patients has fallen by 40% over that same period." (See "Glaxo Says Avandia Is Victim of Politics").Glaxo -- Avandia's marketer and guardian angel -- is shifting the blame for Avandia's woes away from impersonal science (the planes) and towards the human element; ie, those bad Democrats in Congress.
"It's pretty much Democrats beating up on us," says Viehbacher.
Even though Glaxo is invoking the Waxman et al bogey man, Viehbacher still claims that "In the end science will win."
Meanwhile, neither Glaxo nor the FDA is rushing to show any more "science" to support claims that "Avandia is as safe for the heart as other diabetes drugs."