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Anti-smoking drug ban call

Feb 25 2002

By The Evening Chronicle


A woman whose stepfather died after taking an anti-smoking drug today called for it to be banned.

Michelle Smith wants Zyban taken off pharmacy shelves until a review into its possible dangers is complete.

Ms Smith's stepfather, Alan Ridley, 46, was found dead at his Monkwearmouth home in August 2000.

Coroner Martin Shaw recorded an open verdict at an inquest into Mr Ridley's death and refused to rule out a connection to the anti smoking drug.

Now the European Medicines Evaluation Agency has launched a review into the medicine.

The review comes as figures released by the Medical Control Agency show that by January this year, 57 people had died after using Zyban. Experts believe some victims may have suffered an adverse reaction to the drug.

Around 500,000 people are known to regularly take Zyban.

A spokesman for GlaxoSmithKline, which makes Zyban said: "We remain extremely confident in the safety of Zyban."


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