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Wanting A Body To Die For...


Opinion By Nurse Mark

It seems that there is no limit to the risks the Big Pharma drug pushers will subject us to in their quest for profit. Risks that range from the merely embarrassing to the risk of death itself...

Over the last couple of weeks there has been a fuss going on over whether a new diet drug, to be called Zimulti in the US (AKA rimonabant, or Acomplia in Europe) is safe to be approved by the FDA for sale in this country.

It seems, you see, that this drug has a rather nasty side effect for some people - it makes them want to kill themselves.

Hmmm... first we have one drug company giving us a diet "drug" that has a "side effect" so common and so embarrassing that they actually recommend that people taking this drug carry with them an extra pair of pants to manage the apparently near-inevitable, foul-smelling "accidents". The fat-blocking drug Zenical has not been a big hit in prescription form, so Drug Giant GlaxoSmithKline has gotten approval to market this sick joke as an over-the-counter drug.

Now we have another Drug Giant, Sanofi-Aventis, who want to push a pill that even they acknowledge can increase risk of suicide. In their pleas to the FDA for approval to sell their drug in the US they suggested that maybe if doctors just didn't prescribe the drug to depressed patients all might be well...

A recent Reuters news article reveals the lengths that Sanofi-Aventis is willing to go to in their pursuit for profits. The company claims that The drug's benefits "clearly outweigh the defined risks that are manageable in clinical practice" - in other words, "We know this is a risky drug, but if you're careful and lucky maybe you can keep your patient safe from doing self harm..." More revealing is this little piece of information: "The French drugmaker has predicted in the past that the drug could generate sales of $3 billion a year or more. Sales for the first quarter of 2007 were about $20 million." and then this: "Zimulti is an important drug for Sanofi, which faces potential generic competition to key products."

So, here we have a French company that is desperate to be allowed to sell a drug that works by blocking the function of key areas of the brain, raises risk of suicidal thoughts and actions, and really doesn't work all that well - because it wants to find a new source for those billions of American dollars that will go away with competition from generic drugs.

Fortunately, it looks like saner heads could prevail - the committee advising the FDA on the risks of this drug versus it's benefits has recommended that the math just doesn't add up. The drug does not cause any really meaningful weight loss (about 5% more weight lost over the course of a year than in those not taking the drug) but it does cause a meaningful increase in suicidal thoughts and suicides in those taking it.

We are still awaiting the final decision by the FDA. We'll be watching this with a wary eye, as FDA director Andrew von Eschenbach has shown us that in his FDA money is more important than people, and that risks like these are simply something to be "managed" like Avandia, the FDA approved diabetes drug that has been killing people. There were 3.2 billion dollars at stake with Avandia and Sanofi is predicting $3 billion a year or more with Zimulti - is this enough money to make a few human lives meaningless to these corporate giants? I'm betting it is...

What makes this all the more tragic is that there are millions of overweight Americans who are so desperate for an easy answer to end their obesity that they will happily assume the risks that this new drug poses - thinking of course that "it won't happen to me"... Just as there are millions of Americans who fall for the MLM "Hoodia" come-on's, the bizarre and unhealthy diets, the anorexia and bulimia solutions, the risky surgeries, there will be millions who will try a dangerous drug, blindly believing that if the FDA "approved" it, and their doctor "prescribed" it, then surely it must be OK.

Perhaps if the USDA weren't so busy protecting the Big Agribiz Conglomerates and the Big Food Manufacturers and promoting their high carbohydrate, low protein low fat 'guaranteed-to-make-and-keep-you-fat' diet, and the FDA weren't so busy crushing any and all competition to it's Big Pharma masters we might see some real solutions to our epidemic of obesity.

Meanwhile, if you want to lose some weight but you don't want to die to have a "body to die for" you'll want to check out the The Physician-Designed Weight Loss Plan for Fastest Weight Loss & Optimum Health The Super Fast Diet Lose Weight Faster Than Fasting and Keep It Off For Good! No pants-filling accidents, no suicidal impulses, just fast weight loss and even faster improved health - all without drugs!


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