Meridia – another diet drug being fed to the Advisory Committee

Abbott Laboratories drug Meridia will be discussed at a Sept 15, 2010 Advisory Committee Meeting.  This presents a significant challenge to Abbott.  They have data suggesting an increased risk of cardiovascular side effects with Meridia compared to placebo and have strengthened the Warnings section of the US package insert.  These risks however were troublesome enough to withdraw the drug from European markets. While Abbott will bring their best case to the Advisory Committee Meeting, it is difficult to think that the FDA will take a softer stand than Europe and allow the drug to remain on the market, especially when alternative treatment for obesity remains diet and exercise.  We think the Advisory Committee and the FDA will “push themselves away from the table” on this one.