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Home Industry News Sanofi-Aventis drug Acomplia linked to five deaths

Sanofi-Aventis drug Acomplia linked to five deaths

4th June 2008

A drug aimed at blocking brain receptors responsible for regulating appetite has caused five deaths since being made available in the UK in 2006, it emerged this week.

Acomplia, known generically as rimonabant, is part of Sanofi-Aventis’ product range and is on sale throughout the European Union.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced that Acomplia has been connected with five deaths – one of which was suicide – and 720 cases of adverse reaction, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

However, a spokesperson for the pharmaceutical company said two of the deaths were due to heart attacks and another to an infectious disease. Heart attacks are a known risk linked to obesity, which the drug is aimed at combating.

Dow Jones could not reach the MHRA for comment but said a recent study involving the drug for obese heart patients found over four in ten developed psychiatric problems as a result.

Acomplia was originally approved in the European Union as an adjunct to exercise and diet for patients with a body mass index greater than 27 kg/m2 and associated risk factors.

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