A week or so ago, Access Economics released an update to its brilliant 2006 study on what obesity costs Australia.  The report is chock full of useful statistics on Australian health and the costs of treating all our maladies.

I was however a little disappointed in one aspect of the document.  Like its the original report, the update says on the front cover that it has been prepared by Access Economics as a ‘report to Diabetes Australia‘.  You might think that means that Diabetes Australia paid for it, right?  … Wrong.  Buried on the fifth page of the tome is this ‘[this report] was funded by an unrestricted grant from sanofi-aventis …’.  
You won’t find this out from the Access Economics report but Sanofi-Aventis is the world’s third biggest biggest drug-maker and the manufacturer of Acomplia a new anti-obesity drug.   Acomplia is featured and comprehensively (and favourably) reviewed on page 109 of the report as the primary component of a section labeled ‘Pharmacological and Surgical Interventions‘ (the bit where they make suggestions as to what to do about obesity).  Unfortunately, the authors forgot to point out that Acomplia is manufactured by the people who paid for the report.
Acomplia has been approved for use in Australia and the United Kingdom (but not on the NHS) It is not approved for use in the US because of serious concerns about psychological problems in patients taking the drug during trials.  Sanofi-Aventis has withdrawn its application for FDA approval as an anti-obesity drug and will instead resubmit it as a treatment for Type II Diabetes in 2009.
If you’re interested in keeping track of the progress of Acomplia, then surf over to this site.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Mandy says:

    Hi David,

    I found your book on Sunday 8th and have read it through twice. As a medic (a shrink), I find it both exciting and compelling. I am very distressed that the drug companies are spending such vast sums of money first to medicalize and then to find a “cure” for the obesity epidemic, when it is clear that what ails us is the “pure, white and deadly” stuff we are shovelling into ourselves in such vast quantities. I agree with you absolutely that we have simply not evolved to deal with this massive and so very recent change in our eating habits. Another very interesting book that looks at this queston from an evolutionary viewpoint is Deidre Barrett’s “Waistland”.

    I look forward to more results from your intelligent and fearless forays into the frightening world of fructose.



  • Thanks for your comment Mandy … I’m off to find a copy of Waistland.

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