Dec 3, 2009 10:10 AM by Associated Press
A consumer advocacy group is petitioning the government to ban the weight loss pill Meridia because a recent study suggests it increases risk of heart attack, stroke and death.
A letter Thursday from Public Citizen calls on the Food and Drug Administration to pull Abbott Laboratories' drug from the U.S. market, where it is used by roughly a quarter million people.
Preliminary results from a 10,000-patient study showed a slightly higher risk of heart-related problems in patients taking Meridia compared with a dummy pill. Patients in the study were older than 55, overweight with a history of heart disease or diabetes.
FDA said it was "making no conclusions about the preliminary findings," when they were released last month.