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Express Solicitors have begun legal proceedings against British pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline after a number of individuals have been seriously affected by the drug Avandia.

The diabetes drug Avandia was first introduced on to the NHS in the year 2000 and was used primarily to treat people with type 2 diabetes whose glucose levels were not being kept properly under control by the everyday, already in use drugs – a sulphonylurea drug and metformin. Avandia was created to lessen the body’s resistance towards insulin and could be used alone or together with metformin, which is also known as Avandamet.

The drug was banned in 2010 after ten years, due to very serious health concerns surrounding it. The health concerns connected with the drug were issues such as heart failure and heart attacks after a US scientist carried out clinical trials on 28,000 different people.


Avandia tablets, NLM Pillbox

Avandia tablets

GSK (a company who produces and sells a large range of prescription and over the counter medicines) faces legal action due to a number of instances where the drug Avandia was prescribed to patients eight weeks subsequent to the European medicines regulator ordering it to be removed. The pharmaceutical firm also admitted to covering up any data which showed the drugs damaging side effects.
The National Health Service is too facing difficulties of the same sort for the marketing and sale of the drug even after its ban in Europe.

Since the discovery of Avandia’s side effects, thousands of families have come forward demanding compensation for the death or harm of a close relative but only the US claimants have prevailed. GSK have agreed since to pay out billions of dollars to the US government to cover and settle any claims from people in the US.

However, despite the pharmaceutical company being of British origin, UK families may not be quite as well off, as GSK are not prepared to pay out without a fight to defend themselves. Whilst claimants in the US got it relatively easy, fighters in the UK will be faced with having to produce evidence such as medical expert opinions and reports to stand up in court.

Express Solicitors in Manchester are at present representing four families, with a further 15 on its books and are offering a “no win, no fee” basis for anyone affected by the drug.

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German researchers have found that people who take calcium supplements could be increasing their risk of having a heart attack.

Calcium is often taken by older people to strengthen bones and prevent fractures.

But the study, published in the journal Heart, said the supplements “should be taken with caution”.

Experts say promoting a balanced diet including calcium would be a better strategy.

German researchers have found that people who take calcium supplements could be increasing their risk of having a heart attack

German researchers have found that people who take calcium supplements could be increasing their risk of having a heart attack

The researchers at the German Cancer Research Centre, in Heidelberg, followed 23,980 people for more than a decade.

They compared the number of heart attacks in people who were taking calcium supplements with those who did not.

There were 851 heart attacks among the 15,959 people who did not take any supplements at all. However, people taking calcium supplements were 86% more likely to have had a heart attack during the study.

The researchers said that heart attacks “might be substantially increased by taking calcium supplements” and that they “should be taken with caution”.

Ian Reid and Mark Bolland, researchers at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, said: “The evidence is also becoming steadily stronger that it is not safe, nor is it particularly effective.

“Therefore, the administration of this micro nutrient should not be encouraged; rather people should be advised to obtain their calcium intake from an appropriately balanced diet.

“We should return to seeing calcium as an important component of a balanced diet and not as a low cost panacea to the universal problem of postmenopausal bone loss.”

 

British researchers claim that drinking just three cups of tea a day may protect against heart attacks and type 2 diabetes.

A review shows regular drinking of black tea, with or without milk, can reduce the risk of heart problems by cutting levels of bad cholesterol and blood sugar.

Experts say the benefits of tea are largely due to the flavonoid content – antioxidant ingredients that counteract cardiovascular disease.

One cup of tea provides 150-200mg of flavonoids and it is one of the best sources of antioxidants in the diet. In terms of the delivery of antioxidants, two cups of tea is equivalent to five portions of vegetables.

A review in the journal Nutrition Bulletin found drinking three or more cups of black tea a day protects against heart disease and two or more cups a day may protect against type 2 diabetes.

In addition, a 12-week study in 87 volunteers found that drinking three cups of tea a day produced a significant improvement in various cardiovascular risk factors.

Overall, flavonoids found in tea are thought to control inflammation, reduce excess blood clotting, promote blood vessel function and limit furring up of the arteries.

 

British researchers claim that drinking just three cups of tea a day may protect against heart attacks and type 2 diabetes

British researchers claim that drinking just three cups of tea a day may protect against heart attacks and type 2 diabetes

 

British nutritionist Dr. Carrie Ruxton, co-author of the latest review and a member of the industry-backed Tea Advisory Panel (TAP), said: “There is far more to the nation’s favourite drink than we realize.

“With its antioxidant flavonoids, black tea packs a powerful punch with many health benefits particularly for the heart. And recent studies show that the flavonoids work their magic whether or not we choose to add milk.”

Dr. Tim Bond also from TAP, added: “Black tea flavonoids are thought to be the compounds responsible for the protective effects of black tea on health.

“Chronic conditions such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes are associated with inflammatory processes and the presence of excessive pro-oxidant free radicals in the body.

“The proven antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of black tea flavonoids may therefore be responsible for the positive health effects of black tea.”