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"Diet pill controls 'munchies,' lowers cholesterol"

Vancouver Sun

Source: Vancouver Sun

Published: 17 Nov 2021

Category: Pharmaceutical

Rating: (3½ stars)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

TORONTO -- A drug that suppresses appetite -- working on the same part of the brain that produces the "stone munchies" in those who smoke pot -- not only causes weight loss but also significantly improves cholesterol levels, a Canadian-led international study has found.

In the study of more than 1,000 overweight and obese patients with high blood-fat levels, the experimental drug rimonabant caused pounds to melt off waistlines, reduced the amount of triglycerides in blood and boosted HDL, the so-called good cholesterol.

Being overweight and having a "big belly" and high lipid (fat) levels are considered major risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, said Dr. Jean-Pierre Despres of the Quebec Heart Institute, lead investigator of the year-long study...

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 6 of 9
Availability of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Not Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Applicable
Evidence Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

Overall, this article contained a number of key elements necessary to qualify it as quality pharmaceutical reporting, but the reporter slipped a little when it came to quantifying the drug's benefits and risks. Absolute changes between placebo and 20mg drug treatment were provided, but when discussing improved adiponectin levels only relative figures were given. No quantification was included for the harms mentioned.

The article would also have benefited from providing information about comparator drugs and their benefits and harms.

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