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Home Industry News Sanofi Aventis obesity drug to be prescribed through NHS

Sanofi Aventis obesity drug to be prescribed through NHS

25th June 2008

The government’s health advisor has recommended a new drug should be prescribed to patients who are obese and want to lose weight.

Rimonabant, made by Sanofi-Aventis, should be prescribed to adults and children who have tried to lose weight through dieting and exercise, the National Institute for health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) says.

It may prove to be controversial decision because rimonabant has been linked to risk of suicide.

Overweight patients will not receive the drug if they have a history of depression or mood problems, NICE conceded.

In addition, it should not be taken for a period exceeding six months unless the patient has lost five per cent of their body weight by that time.

The appetite suppressant will cost £44 per patient per month.

Chief executive Andrew Dillon, executive lead for the guideline, said: “The independent advisory committee recommended rimonabant, along with diet and exercise, as a treatment option for adults who are obese or overweight.”

He added that it was good news for those who had taken orlistat and sibutramine but had not lost weight.

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