Quoted from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/09/health/09drug.html
Abbott Labs Withdraws Meridia From the Market
By ANDREW POLLACK
Abbott Laboratories, the drug’s manufacturer, said on Friday that it was taking the action voluntarily but under pressure from the Food and Drug Administration.
“Meridia’s continued availability is not justified when you compare the very modest weight loss that people achieve on this drug to their risk of heart attack or stroke,” Dr. John Jenkins, director of the office of new drugs at the F.D.A., said in a statement.
F.D.A. officials said the estimated 100,000 Americans using Meridia should stop taking the drug and consult with their doctors.
The withdrawal of Meridia, also known as sibutramine, is the latest setback in efforts to provide a safe medicine to treat obesity, one of the nation’s largest health problems. In 1997, part of the fen-phen diet pill combination was removed from the market after it was found to damage heart valves.
The withdrawal of Meridia is not expected to seriously hurt Abbott, though it could conceivably expose the company to lawsuits from patients.