Just Say ‘No’ to Big Pharma’s Anti-Pot Pill
I’ve said this before but it bears repeating. The endocannabinoid system is involved in the regulation of a broad range of primary biological functions in humans — including appetite, mood regulation, blood pressure, bone density, reproduction, learning capacity, and motor coordination.
Shutting down this system in order to lose a few vanity pounds is likely not a good idea — and, in fact, is a pretty effective way to kill mice.
It’s arguably not a healthy option for humans either.
Sanofi-Aventis S.A.’s (SNY) anti-obesity pill Acomplia has been linked to five deaths and 720 adverse reaction since its U.K. launch in 2006, according to a document posted on the U.K. drug regulator’s website Tuesday.
One of the deaths was due to suicide, said the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, or MHRA, document, which recorded adverse side effects up until May 9.
The drug, a new kind of obesity treatment that blocks certain brain receptors that regulate appetite, last year was rejected by a panel of U.S. Food and Drug Administration experts on concerns that the drug increases the number of psychiatric events like depression and suicidal thinking among users.
… Despite withdrawing its application to market the drug in the U.S., where it was to have been known as Zimulti, Sanofi-Aventis has plans to resubmit it to the FDA and other regulators in 2009 for approval as a treatment for type 2 diabetes.
In a study released in 2006, Acomplia showed promise as a diabetes treatment after patients who took the pill for a year reported improvements in blood sugar control and cholesterol along with modest weight loss.
However, a recent study of the drug in obese heart patients found more than 40% of those who took the drug developed psychiatric problems, while another study, published last month, raised concerns about using drugs like Acomplia in children. June 3, 2008