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The recent FDA approval of the first two new diet drugs in 13 years occasions our review of the safety problems of both drugs and the history of previous diet drugs, taken off the market because of serious cardiovascular dangers. Two recent well-controlled studies, one in adults and one in children, document the benefit of reasonable diet and exercise programs as the only safe and effective way to lose weight.
The article reviews 12 prescription drugs, many of which are top-sellers, all of which are greatly overpriced in comparison to older "versions" of the same drugs. The patents on the old drugs expired so the "innovative" companies patented these new products, gaining a patent on them, and, for all practical purposes, using them as a license to print money. There is no evidence that any of the new ones are better than the now less-expensive, old versions.
You should avoid these "new" single mirror images of old drugs, not out of concern about their safety or effectiveness, but because they are the same as the old drugs. In the long run, they cause economic harm both to individuals and to the health care system because they have come on the market with extended monopoly protection. Article lists some examples.
On August 13, 2002, the Food and Drug Administration warned the public about the Chinese weight loss products CHASU (JIANFEI) DIET CAPSULES and CHASU GEMPI because they pose a potential public health risk. The alert followed illnesses reported in several people in Japan, some of whom died, after consuming these products.