FDA Panel Divided Over the Ban on Meridia Drug

Many members in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel are demanding the ban on Meridia drug.

According to them, although the drug causes weight loss, it also increases the risk of heart attacks and stroke, which is the main point of worry.

A total of 8 out of 16 members are asking for the ban on the drug made by Abbott Laboratories. Six members are demanding a restriction on sales and a ‘black box’ warning and two other members think that only the warning and patient monitoring are sufficient.

In 1997, the FDA gave approval to Meridia medicine. The FDA normally takes any decision by consulting with the expert panel, but this time the views regarding this drug are divided and the FDA is in a fix.

If the Meridia drug is allowed to be marketed, then it is estimated that the drug will generate as many as $30 million in the current year.

As per a study that was funded by the maker of the drug, Abbott Laboratories, Meridia can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke by 16% in those patients who suffer from heart disease as compared to a placebo. The study findings also reveal that the weight loss by consuming this drug is only modest.