Skip to NavigationSkip to content

Accomplia gains limited NICE approval

Published on 28/03/08 at 11:41am

Sanofi-Aventis' weight-loss pill Acomplia has been approved for prescription on the NHS, but only for patients who fail to respond to other anti-obesity treatments.

NICE has recommended it be used only in adults who don't adequately respond to Roche's Xenical and Abbott's Reductil, are intolerant to them or for whom those drugs are contraindicated.

NICE's guidance also says treatment with Acomplia should only continue after six-months if the patient has lost at least 5% of their initial body weight since being started on the drug.

Nevertheless, independent charity the National Obesity Forum said the addition of another NICE-recommended treatment was excellent news.

Clinical director Dr David Haslam said: "Patients who are obese or overweight are at significant risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes, so it is vital that doctors have a full range of options, alongside lifestyle interventions, to help patients lose weight and cut their risk of disease."

Acomplia has been proven to not only help obese patients lose weight, but to benefit those with risk factors, such as type 2 diabetes, to improve their cardiovascular risk profile beyond the level expected from weight loss alone.

Nigel Brooksby, managing director of Sanofi-Aventis UK, said: "We are delighted we have been able to bring Acomplia, a truly innovative treatment, to NHS patients and in doing so, to contribute to reducing the burden of disease linked to obesity."

Acomplia functions in a similar way to Reductil, in that both drugs suppress the appetite. Another parallel is that they both cost £44 for a month's treatment.

Xenical, which works instead by reducing the absorption of dietary fat, is nearly 25% cheaper than its competitors, but no comparative data of the three products has yet been published.

Obesity in England has more than trebled in the last two decades and the total socioeconomic cost of managing obesity/overweight and the conditions that it causes is estimated to be up to £7.4 billion per year.

If current trends continue, by 2050 about 60% of men, 50% of women and 25% of children in the UK will be obese, with an additional annual cost to society of almost £50 billion.

Last year Sanofi-Aventis was a major sponsor in a group of companies that backed a year-long pilot of a new pharmacy-led weight management service.

The first of its kind programme was led by Coventry PCT and facilitated by UniChem, which is currently gathering feedback from the scheme.

Mission Statement is a leading portal for the pharmaceutical industry, providing industry professionals with pharma news, pharma events, pharma service company listings and pharma jobs,
Site content is produced by our editorial team exclusively for and our industry newspaper Pharmafocus. Service company profiles and listings are taken from our pharmaceutical industry directory, Pharmafile, and presented in a unique Find and Compare format to ensure the most relevant matches