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Slimming Clinics

Volume 281: debated on Wednesday 17 July 1996

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proposals he has in respect of the future management and control of slimming clinics and the drugs that they prescribe; and if he will make a statement. [37735]

The Medicines Commission has considered a proposal to ban anorectic agents under section 62 of the Medicines Act 1968. I have exceptionally decided to make the commission's report public and have today placed copies in the Library.Following extensive consultation, the commission concluded mat there was insufficient evidence of significant harm to the public as a consequence of the use of anorectic drugs to justify a ban. The Government have accepted this advice and have no plans to ban anorectic agents or introduce new regulation of slimming clinics. However, the commission has expressed concern that there may be inappropriate use of anorectic agents by some practitioners. In response to that concern, I have asked the Royal College of Physicians of London to draw up recommendations on the clinical management of obesity, including the appropriate use of anorectic drugs. The royal college has agreed to report back by the end of this year.