Dangerous online ‘slimming pills’ must not stop us advancing the use of effective anti-obesity medication

By Graham Rowan, Chairman of OMA

Horror stories of the effects of ‘slimming pills’ bought over the internet continue to emerge as more and more people seek help to try and take control of their weight.  With the obesity epidemic spiralling out of control, increasing numbers are turning to the web for quick fix solutions, with disastrous consequences.  The Obesity Management Association is working hard to educate people about the dangers of buying drugs off the internet and raise awareness of effective anti-obesity medication and how it should be prescribed and monitored.

Preventative action to stem the rising tide of obesity is always the preferred course of action, but for some people it is too late and we need to look at different ways they can be helped without placing extra burden on the state.  Licenced and proven medication, monitored and prescribed by doctors in private clinics, is an important part of the solution.  In OMA member clinics medication has already helped thousands to tackle their obesity and make a step change in their lifestyles for the benefit of themselves and their families.

Unless we start to take the role of medication seriously – as it appears NICE is now doing with its appraisal of  Phentermine and Topiramate – our hospital waiting rooms will be filled with people queuing up for gastric surgery and our health service will be crippled.

Now is the time for a change in approach, moving the focus from the shortcomings of dangerous internet drugs towards the opportunities and positive impact that effective anti-obesity treatment can have to transform lives.