Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that Abbott Laboratories recalled its obesity drug Meridia (sibutramine) off the market. The recall occurred because clinical trial studies showed there was an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes in people who used the drug.
According to Dr. John Jenkins, M.D., director of the Office of New Drugs in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, "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. Physicians are advised to stop prescribing Meridia to their patients and patients should stop taking this medication."
Dr. Gerald Dal Pan, director of the Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology at the FDA’S Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said that "[i]n all its investigation of the drug, the FDA could find not one person whose benefit from the drug outweighed its risk."
According to the FDA, approximately 8 million people worldwide take Meridia , including 100,000 Americans.