Glaxo Smith Kline’s CEO Dr. Jean-Pierre Garnier offered this valuable perspective on the Avandia controversy today according to the Wall Street Journal:

“Dr. Garnier stressed that the absolute risk of heart attacks in patients taking Avandia was still low — between 0.43% and 1.85% of patients had heart attacks, according to Dr. Nissen’s paper, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Those odds were 43% higher than the rate of heart attacks among patients taking other drugs or a placebo, which ranged from 0.34% to 1.44%.

Dr. Garnier said Dr. Nissen’s analysis is only one piece in a body of research that overall shows that Avandia is no riskier for the heart than other diabetes medications. “You cannot look at this in isolation,” he said.”