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The European Medicines Evaluation Agency (EMEA) committee that its scientific committee had initiated a review on the risks and benefits of the anti-obesity drug sibutramine. The drug is sold as Reductil in Europe// and Meridia in the United States.

The drug was temporarily withdrawn from the market in Italy after reports that two patients taking the drug had died. A spokesman declined to say who was leading the review, which was requested by Italy.

Abbott, the manufacturer of sibutramine, has said it is aware of 34 deaths globally in patients taking the drug, but insists there is no evidence that the drug was the cause of the deaths.Millions of patients have taken the drug since it was launched in 1997.


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