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NICE limits use of obesity drug

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NICE has issued final guidance on use of the drug rimonabant (Acomplia) in treating overweight or obese adults in the NHS.

The health technology appraisal, published last week, recommends that rimonabant should only be used as an addition to diet and exercise for adults who have had an inadequate response to, or who are intolerant of, the anti-obesity drugs orlistat and sibutramine.

If a patient does not lose at least 5% of their initial bodyweight in the first six months of taking the drug, treatment should be discontinued, the institute said.

NICE also issued recommendations on the use of cetuximab (Erbitux) for head and neck cancer, and adalimumab (Humira) for psoriasis. More information is available at www.nice.org.uk

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