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Long-term data on safety and effectiveness of antiobesity drugs needed

Data on the long-term effects of antiobesity drugs is needed so doctors can be confident that their benefits outweigh their risks, state the authors of a New Drug Class article in this week's issue of The Lancet.

The International Obesity Task Force estimates that more than 300 million individuals worldwide are obese and an additional 800 million are overweight. Antiobesity treatment is recommended for selected patients if lifestyle modification has been unsuccessful. Currently, two antiobesity drugs orlistat and sibutramine - are licensed for long term use. Raj Padwal and Sumit Majumdar from the University of Alberta Hospital, Edmonton, AB, Canada assess these drugs as well as rimonabant the first of a new class of antiobesity drug known as the endocannabinoid receptor antagonists. They conclude that trials on the drugs have been limited by lack of long-term data on major obesity-related illness and death, particularly cardiovascular outcomes.

The authors conclude: "In light of the lack of successful weight-loss treatments and the public-health implications of the obesity pandemic, the development of safe and effective drugs should be a priorityWe think that antiobesity drug trials powered to show clinically important reductions in major obesity-related morbidity and mortality should be required either before these drugs are approved for widespread use or as a condition of ongoing approval."


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Contact: Joe Santangelo
j.santangelo@elsevier.com
212-633-3810
Lancet
4-Jan-2007


Page: 1

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