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Local Tech Wire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Pressure is growing on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to remove diabetes drug Avandia from the market.

After a critical Senate report issued on Saturday, GSK stated Avandia is safe when used as directed. And on Monday, the FDA urged Avandia users to keep taking the drug until they had talked with a physician.

However, a powerful member of Congress called Monday on the FDA to stop Avandia sales.

“I strongly urge the FDA to remove Avandia from the market until a truly independent, science-based advisory panel can evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the drug,” said Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro in a statement published on her Web site. “It is reprehensible that many people might have suffered heart attacks or heart failure as a result of taking this drug, especially if a safer alternative exists.

“The safety and efficacy of a prescription drug should be based on independent, science-based evidence, and not a drug company’s interpretation of what constitutes science-based evidence,” she added. “The Avandia case provides further evidence that patients should not trust drug companies with their health.”

DeLauro is chairwoman of the U.S. Agriculture-FDA Appropriations Subcommittee.

GSK maintains its U.S. headquarters in RTP.

Shares of GSK stock declined 2.5 percent Monday.