FDA panel gives diabetes drug Avandia a limited victory

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A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel has voted to ease measures that limit patient access to the diabetes pill Avandia. Many panelists, however, said precautions are still needed. As a result, the panel is recommending that patients be required to sign a waiver before taking the medication. Physicians are already required to sign papers indicating they understand possible medication-related risks. While a quarter million people were taking Avandia in 2010, that figure has since dwindled to less than 4,000. Reports linking Avandia to heart attacks spurred the drop-off.