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"Diet drug found to cut cholesterol and belly fat"


Source: CTV.CA

Published: 17 Nov 2021

Category: Pharmaceutical

Rating: (3½ stars)

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

A promising drug that curbs food cravings has been found to help users lose weight and raise good cholesterol. But researchers are cautioning that it is not a miracle drug.

A new Canadian study shows that rimonabant will likely become a new contender in the war against obesity by helping patients lose dangerous abdominal fat and reduce the risk factors than can lead to heart disease and diabetes.

Though it is not available yet, the drug will be marketed as Acomplia if it receives regulatory approval....

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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 Not Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of Harms of Treatment Satisfactory (?)

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

This is a good article that accurately describes the research on a new antiobesity drug without exaggeration or disease-mongering. The story includes information about side effects and quantifies, to some degree, the rates of those effects. It is particularly helpful that the article points out that there were patients who dropped out of the study, "40 per cent of study participants dropped out, complaining of the side effects of anxiety and nausea."

Where this article falls short is in not clearly stating the quantitative extent of the drug benefit over placebo. Additionally, the story could have provided more information about other drugs available for the treatment of obesity and commented on the evidence comparing the new drug with alternatives.

The article does however, point out that the field of weight loss drugs is strewn with drugs that proved problematic and that this new pill is no miracle. The approximate cost of the new drug in Canada is not discussed as the product has not yet been approved in Canada.

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