Medicine: Debate Over Diabetes

The Food and Drug Administration jumped into a medical dispute this fall when it warned doctors to restrict their use of tolbutamide, an orally administered antidiabetes drug. Now the dispute has grown into an angry battle. Meeting recently in Boston, 34 of the nation's leading diabetologists joined forces to denounce the FDA warning and question the study upon which it was based.

The disagreement began last June when the FDA received a sobering report from the University Group Diabetes Program, an organization of twelve medical schools that had been studying the oral drug. The study, which followed 823 diabetics for eight years,...

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