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Published on 4 March 2008

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German ruling upholds position on Acomplia

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Berlin-Brandenburg’s social court has upheld an earlier court ruling that patients taking the obesity drug Acomplia (rimonabant), manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis, will not be reimbursed by their health insurers, Reuters reported.

In Germany, the state-run health insurance companies will not – by law – reimburse treatment if it simply emphasises an improvement in quality of life.

This news is a further blow to the drug, which received a recommendation from experts not to approve in the US last year, after studies linked it to suicidal thoughts and depression in some patients, according to Reuters.

Although not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, Acomplia does have European Union marketing approval to treat type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol, as well as obese patients in combination with exercise and diet.

A study published in the medical journal The Lancet last November concluded that “20mg per day of rimonabant increases the risk of psychiatric events”, according to Professor Arne Astrup, from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and colleagues.

Sanofi-Aventis

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