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UK Drug Body:Sanofi-Aventis Acomplia Linked To 5 UK Deaths June, 2008

Sanofi-Aventis SA's (SNY) anti-obesity pill Acomplia has been linked to five deaths and 720 adverse reactions since its U.K. launch in 2006, according to a document posted on the U.K. drug regulator's Web site Tuesday.

One of the deaths was due to suicide, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency document said.

The drug, a new kind of obesity treatment that blocks certain brain receptors regulating appetite, was rejected last year by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on concerns the drug increases the number of psychiatric events like depression and suicidal thinking among users.

Once touted as a multi-billion dollar product, Acomplia is currently on sale in the European Union, but carries safety warnings and cannot be given to patients suffering from depression.

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