Successful weight management organizations for almost 35years, have combined forces to assist very high BMI * individuals, classified as obese, to achieve their weight loss goals – healthily.

Cipla has recently launched Ciplatrim, which contains the active ingredient sibutramine.  Sibutramine has been used internationally for over 10 years by thousands of patients for the management of obesity, including weight loss and the maintenance of weight loss.  Even though sibutramine has been available for quite some time to healthcare professionals in South Africa, it has been unaffordable to most people.

Dr Nic De Jongh, Cipla medical director, said the drug’s efficacy in assisting obese patients who have not responded adequately to an appropriate weight loss programme alone is well documented. “Sibutramine has a unique mode of action compared to other weight loss products, enhancing satiety (a feeling of fullness) and thereby controlling food intake. However while it can only be prescribed by a doctor to patients with an initial body mass index of 30 kg/m 2  or higher; or 27 kg/ m 2  or higher in the presence of other factors such as hypertension, diabetes, or dyslipidaemia it is extremely important that patients on Ciplatrim adjust their lifestyles simultaneously while on the medication in order to maintain the weight loss benefits after ceasing the medication. In order to ensure the treatment was as holistic for patients as possible, Cipla approached Weigh-Less to partner with them in this regard.”

Weigh-Less, founded by Mary Holroyd in 1975, has been recognized for consistently championing the benefits of losing and maintaining weight based on healthy, nutritionally sound, sustainable methods.  The brand’s enduring credibility and its tens of thousands of weight loss success stories, has been built on a foundation of encouraging members to adjust their lifestyles to embrace healthy eating and adherence to strict dietary guidelines and principles.

“As a result of modern living, we’re seeing an increase in the consumption of fast food and sedentary lifestyles, which in turn is leading to an ever-increasing obesity problem.  Currently, some 42 % of recent enrolments into Weigh-Less members are obese and 7% are morbidly obese. This wasn’t the case five years ago,” said Mary Holroyd. “The problem is that many of these people not only eat incorrectly but they then diet incorrectly too, and years of yo-yo dieting result in greater difficulty losing the weight. Our great concern at Weigh-Less is the potentially fatal health risks these obese people face, such as hypertension, type-2 diabetes and heart disease.

“Our partnership with Cipla is certainly not a case of Weigh-Less promoting weight loss tablets or quick fixes. We have never done that and will always continue our ethos of healthy nutritional habits. But we understand that due to metabolic changes that arise as a result of obesity, for some people combining a scientifically proven product like Ciplatrim with a healthy eating plan may be what’s required to enable them to start shedding the excess weight. It’s a two-way partnership. Many of our obese members who are not seeing significant results purely through adjusting their diet could be advised to consult their doctors about Ciplatrim to assist them to kick start their weight loss. At the same time, our Health and Weight Management programmes will teach them to eat healthily for the rest of their lives and maintain the weight lost,” says Holroyd.

“Conversely for patients who are prescribed Ciplatrim, Weigh-Less is actually the safety net that doctors can refer these patients to for advice on adopting an optimum nutritional program suitable to their weight loss goals.  Our aim is to work with and assist healthcare professionals in the holistic treatment of the patients who are prescribed Ciplatrim. Also, as a champion for an affordable, liveable weight management program suited to our members’ budgets and lifestyles, we are thrilled to be endorsing a product that has been launched at an affordable price for many of our members.”

The launch of Ciplatrim together with the Weigh-Less support program comes at a time when all diet products containing norpseudoephedrine have been re-classified by the Medicines Control Council as schedule 6 (end 2008). This means that a prescription by a medical doctor will now be needed by pharmacists to dispense such products, a move welcomed by both Cipla and Weigh-Less.

* BMI: Body Mass Index –  An estimate of an individual’s relative body fat calculated from his or her height    and weight.

Pic: Mary Holroyd, Weigh-Less Chairman and Founder together with Jerome Smith, CEO, Cipla Medpro SA Ltd

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