Note: The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of Local Tech Wire and business editor of

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) is under increasing pressure to pull its diabetes drug Avandia from markets in Europe.

The U.K.’s The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said Monday that Avandia ,” Reuters reported.

Also on Monday, Fiona Godlee, editor-in-chief of the British Medical Journal, called for Avandia’s removal as the European Medicines Agency prepares for a meeting on Sept. 8 to discuss the drug’s safety.

Avandia also is under considerable criticism in the U.S as well. (See and others listed with this post for previous LTW coverage.)

Quoting a Reuters story, a British newspaper noted that Godlee said: "The time has now come for this drug to be withdrawn from the market."

The British journal on Monday published a study of Avandia.

GSK defended Avandia in to Bloomberg news.

“We reject any suggestion that there is a lack of publicly available trial results related to rosiglitazone for independent scientific scrutiny,” GSK said.

“GSK has carried out an extensive research program involving more than 50,000 patients to analyze the safety and benefits of rosiglitazone. No other diabetes medicine introduced in the last 10 years has such an extensive safety database.”

GSK maintains its U.S. headquarters in RTP.

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