Teva Recalls Weight Loss Pill Reductil

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has pulled the Reductil weight loss pill off the shelves, Teva and the Health Ministry announced yesterday.

Teva distributes Abbott Laboratories' controversial diet drug sibutramine, known by the brand name Meridia, in Israel, where it's called Reductil.

About 10,000 patients use the drug in Israel.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Friday the drug was too dangerous, making it the latest casualty in the troubled obesity drug sector. Abbott argued that its drug was safe, but FDA officials said data on Meridia's heart risks raised serious questions about its use, and ordered it taken off shelves.

The European Medical Association recommended suspending the drug's approval seven months ago.

Meridia has been under fire over the increased risk of heart attack and strokes reported in certain patients who take the drug. Meridia was first approved in 1997. Consumer groups have been fighting to have Meridia removed from the shelves for years.