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Long-term pharmacotherapy for obesity and overweight: updated meta-analysis
Date:11/16/2007

ted that no trials examined rates of death and disease as a result of taking anti-obesity pills. They recommend that trials looking at this should be carried out in the future.

The authors also noted that there were high drop-out levels in all the trials. On average 30 40% of patients failed to complete the trial. They say this suggests that a failure to properly adhere to the treatment could be a major factor limiting the effectiveness of anti-obesity drug therapy.

In an accompanying editorial, Professor Gareth Williams warns of the potential damage to society if anti-obesity drugs are licensed to be sold without prescription. This already happens in the United States, and as Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK) has applied to sell orlistat over the counter throughout Europe, it could happen here. He warns:

Selling anti-obesity drugs over the counter will perpetuate the myth that obesity can be fixed simply by popping a pill and could further undermine the efforts to promote healthy living, which is the only long term escape from obesity.


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Contact: Emma Dickinson
edickinson@bmj.com
44-020-738-36529
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Source:Eurekalert

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