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NICE recommends Acomplia

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has recommended the use of sanofi-aventis' obesity drug Acomplia (rimonabant) on the NHS

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recommended the use of sanofi-aventis' obesity drug Acomplia (rimonabant) on the NHS. 

In its final appraisal determination (FAD), NICE has recommended Acomplia be used as an adjunct to diet and exercise for adults who are obese or overweight and who have had an inadequate response to, are intolerant of, or are contraindicated to other anti-obesity agents that have previously been reviewed by NICE.

However, this is not a formal decision, and the final NICE guidance is expected to follow shortly.

NICE's decision was welcomed by the National Obesity Forum (NOF) given the huge burden of disease that obesity places on society.

"Patients who are obese or overweight are at significant risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes, so it is vital that doctors have a full range of options, alongside lifestyle interventions, to help patients lose weight and cut their risk of disease. Rimonabant, in addition to diet and physical activity, provides clinically meaningful weight loss and improvements in risk factor for heart disease and diabetes. We now need to make sure that when final guidance is issued primary care trusts provide funding to allow doctors to be able to prescribe the medicine to those patients who could benefit from it," said Dr David Haslam, clinical director of the NOF.

According to sanofi-aventis, Acomplia was shown to help people to not only lose weight but also to improve their cardiovascular risk profile above and beyond that expected from weight loss alone in clinical trials in obese and overweight patients, many of whom had associated risk factors such as type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia.

26th March 2008

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