HC Deb 17 June 1997 vol 296 c100W
Shona McIsaac

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will end the practice of private slimming clinics prescribing slimming pills. [3555]

Ms Jowell

The prescribing of slimming pills is the clinical responsibility of physicians, whether in the national health service or in private clinics. A recent report by the Royal College of Physicians provides guidance for practitioners on the use of slimming pills in the treatment of obesity.

The report identifies those pills which are of no value in the treatment of obesity and others which are. These are licensed for the treatment of obese patients—body mass index (BMI) 30 kg/m2 or greater—who have not responded to an appropriate weight reducing regimen. It also recommends that patients are subjected to regular review by the prescribing physician and where treatment is initiated by another physician that the patient's general practitioner should be notified in writing. Anyone who considers that physicians are prescribing inappropriately, should notify the General Medical Council.

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