Controversial diet drug, rimonabant, has been approved
for use on the NHS despite indications that the drug may trigger suicidal behavior.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
(NICE) has approved rimonabant, but has said the drug may be unsafe for
patients also taking anti-depressants. Many obesity specialists have welcomed
the ruling despite there being reservations about the drug.
"We can be absolutely reassured that they have
looked closely at the evidence and made an appropriate decision," said Dr
David Haslam, the clinical director of the National Obesity Forum. "This
is a very good drug, and there are very many people who have tried everything
else, including other drugs, with little success, who might benefit from
However there have
been many reports of violence and suicidal behavior linked to the drug since it
was introduced in 2006 in the UK. Doctors will want to look at this before
prescribing it widely.