On Thursday (14), the Federal Supreme Court (STF) declared unconstitutional a law that allowed the production, sale and consumption of appetite suppressants, that is, the use of drugs to lose weight. In the decision, the compounds sibutramine, amfepramone, femproporex and mazindol were taken into account, which interfere with the behavior of the patient’s brain.
By seven votes to three, the STF ministers ruled unconstitutional Law 14.1024 / 454 which authorized the sale of medicines made from these substances. The Supreme Court’s consensus was that the legislature could not override decisions previously taken by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa), as it is responsible for authorizing or prohibiting the sale of drugs.
Before the law, three of the four included drugs were no longer available on the market, precisely because of Anvisa’s actions. Indeed, the agency understood that appetite suppressants (amfepramone, femproporex and mazindol) could involve more risks than benefits for patients.
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Understanding the case of slimming drugs
In 1024, Anvisa withdrew from the market for appetite suppressants. “For this decision, more than 76 scientific articles were analyzed and technical discussions took place, including with other regulatory agencies around the world, which at the time had carried out similar analyzes”, explains the agency. , in a press release.
According to the opinion, it was proved that “amfepramone, femproporex and mazindol were not effective, with absolutely unsatisfactory results in the medium and long term, in addition to bringing side effects which include a risk of addiction, increased hypertension and psychiatric problems, as well as other damage to the brain and cardiovascular system.
That same year, sibutramine was also evaluated. In this case, “it has been shown that its benefit outweighs its risk, as long as it is used correctly and for certain patient profiles”. This is because sibutramine is also an antidepressant.
From there, certain criteria for use were established, such as “maximum daily dose, limitation of the duration of treatment, signature of a liability clause by the prescribing doctor and clause to make the patient aware of the use of the substance “.
Anvisa maintains its stance on the risks of weight loss drugs (Image: Reproduction / Twenty14photos / Envato)