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NICE issues guidance on Acomplia

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has published final guidance on the use of sanofi-aventis' Acomplia as an NHS treatment for obese or overweight adults
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published final guidance on the use of sanofi-aventis' Acomplia as an NHS treatment for obese or overweight adults.

NICE recommends Acomplia as a possible treatment for those patients who also have risk factors such as high cholesterol or Type II diabetes. It says that Acomplia should be used in addition to diet and exercise for patients who have failed to respond to treatment with Roche's Xenical or Abbott's Reductil.

The guidance states that treatment should only be extended beyond six months if a patient has lost at least 5 per cent of their initial body weight, and should not be continued for more than two years without a formal clinical assessment.

Andrew Dillon, NICE CEO said: "Being overweight or obese can lead to a range of serious health problems, including heart disease, Type II diabetes, osteoarthritis and some cancers. These recommendations should be used in conjunction with the NICE guideline 'Obesity: the Prevention, Identification, Assessment and Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults and Children' published in December 2006."

There has been some controversy surrounding Acomplia recently. At the beginning of June 2008, The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) published data showing that Acomplia may cause psychiatric side effects.

Although licensed throughout the EU since June 2006, Acomplia (rimonabant) is not currently authorised in the US. It was rejected by a panel from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) amid concerns of increases in psychiatric behaviour.

25th June 2008

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