Obesity Drugs: January 2007 Archives

drug safety Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Weight-loss treatments need more study to prove they also help people live longer before doctors can be sure the benefits are greater than the risks and that the high cost is justified, researchers said in today's Lancet.

While drugs such as Roche Holding AG's Xenical and Abbott Laboratories' Meridia have proven to help patients lose weight, tests that show treatments save lives or cut deadly risks such as heart disease should be required, Raj Padwal and Sumit Majumdar of the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton said in the journal.

Roche, Abbott and France's Sanofi-Aventis SA already sell weight-loss products and the rising level of obesity around the world is attracting Pfizer Inc. and Merck & Co. Sedentary lifestyles and high-fat diets have caused the number of obese Americans to double over the past 30 years to around 31 percent of the population, according to the U.S. government. About 65 percent of the population is classed as overweight.