Abbott Laboratories has agreed to initiate a voluntary recall of their weight loss drug Meridia due to clinical trial data linking the drug to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
The Meridia recall in the United States was preceded by a similar recall across Europe, which was prompted by data released in the SCOUT (Sibutramine Cardiovascular Outcomes Trial) report. This study found that Meridia increased patients’ risk of heart attacks and strokes by 16%, yet its weight loss benefits were relatively minor compared with patients given a placebo.
The findings of the SCOUT report led FDA to initiate their own safety review, which has recently culminated in their request to have Meridia recalled. FDA director of the Office of New Drugs Dr. John Jenkins stated, “Meridia’s continued availability is not justified when you compare the very modest weight loss that people achieve on this drug to their risk of heart attack or stroke.”
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has informed physicians that they should discontinue prescribing Meridia at once. Patients taking the defective drug should consult with their health care provider to find an alternative weight loss treatment.
Meridia was initially approved by the FDA in November 1997 for the treatment of obesity.
If you or a loved one has suffered a pharmaceutical injury from taking Meridia, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your damages. An experienced defective drug attorney can help protect your rights in court.