9 Oct 2010

Weight loss drug to be reviewed

12:01 pm on 9 October 2010

Medsafe will decide on Monday will decide whether a prescription-only weight loss drug will remain on sale in New Zealand.

Sibutramine, which is sold under the brand name Reductil, has been withdrawn from sale in Australia.

The drug company, Abbott, ceased distributing Reductil in Australia on Friday following a review by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration.

The European Union suspended sales of the drug earlier this year after a study of 10,000 patients found it caused an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Medsafe says it and the Medicines Adverse Reactions Committee will meet to obtain a final recommendation on the balance of benefits and risks of sibutramine treatment.