Diabetes Drug Label Would Highlight Diet’s Benefits
PCRM is urging the federal government to let consumers know that diet changes are safer than drugs. In a petition filed in December with the Food and Drug Administration, PCRM called for a warning label for the diabetes drug Avandia. The label would state that diet can be a safer and more effective approach to controlling diabetes.
In November, the FDA called for a new black-box warning on Avandia to alert patients that the drug increases the risk of heart attacks. Researchers estimate that Avandia (rosiglitazone) has caused more than 13,000 heart attacks and heart failure events in the United States alone.
PCRM’s petition asks the FDA to require that Avandia and all drugs in its class include labeling stating that a low-fat vegan diet has been shown to be as effective as oral medications at lowering blood sugar in people with diabetes. The notice would also explain that a vegan diet can lower blood pressure and high cholesterol, accelerate weight loss, and prevent and reverse heart disease.
“People with diabetes are more likely to die of heart disease than any other health problem, and Avandia appears to increase this risk. It is crucial people taking the medication know that vegan diets can offer a safe approach,” says PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D.
Dr. Barnard emphasizes that changes in diet or medications should always be made in consultation with a physician. For more information about the use of vegan diets to control diabetes, go to PCRM.org/Diabetes.