Abbott Pulls Meridia off The Market in Canada

NEW YORK (AP) -- Abbott Laboratories is pulling its weight loss drug Meridia off the market in Canada.

Health Canada, the nation's health department, says Abbott is voluntarily withdrawing Meridia because of its link to side effects like heart attacks and strokes. Europe has already banned the drug and the Food and Drug Administration may do the same in the U.S. That decision could come as early as Friday.

Last year, a clinical trial showed patients who had heart disease were more likely to have heart attacks or strokes after long-term use of Meridia. Health Canada says it will also address any issues with generic versions of the drug.

Meridia, or sibutramine, was approved in Canada in December 2000. It has been on the market in the U.S. since 1997.

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