By Caitlin Hagan
In a reversal of its past position, a majority of a 26-person Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted to recommend looser restrictions on the controversial diabetes drug Avandia.
Thirteen members voted to modify the current warning, while another 7 voted to remove the warning altogether. Five members voted to continue the warning without changes, while one voted to remove Avandia from the market.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration restricted Avandia's use to patients with type 2 diabetes who cannot control their illness with other medications or who were already being treated successfully with the drug at the time the restriction went into effect. The drug is not available at retail pharmacies.
The decision whether to act on the recommended changes now lies with the FDA commissioner.