The pill, named as rosiglitazone, marketed under the brand name Avandia by the British company GlaxoSmithKline, has just emerged out of a successful three-year trial, and is claimed to be able to assist the high-risk category of people from developing diabetes.
Nicknamed as an 'insulin sensitiser', this pill enhances the body's response to insulin, thus ensuring the removal of glucose from the blood. The clinical trial encompassed 5,269 adults from 21 countries. The group was divided on a random basis and half of the group was administered the 8mg of the pill and the rest a placebo everyday. All patients received advice about diet and lifestyle. After three years, the finding revealed that 280 of the subjects taking the drug and 658 on the placebo developed diabetes. Only sixteen patients on the drug, showed a small risk of non-fatal heart failure.
The researchers, led by Hertzel Gerstein from the Population Research Institute in Hamilton, Ontario, said 'Balancing both benefits and risks suggests that for every 1,000 people treated with rosiglitazone for three years, about 144 cases of diabetes will be prevented, with an excess of four to five cases of congestive heart failure.'