A study from the University of Stirling’s Institute of Social Marketing showed that a drug being used to treat alcohol problems in the UK was licensed for use, despite insufficient evidence to prove its effectiveness.
The drug nalmefene, marketed as Selincro®, was approved in Europe in February 2013 and was subsequently recommended by the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
Yet a team of scientists have found problems with the way clinical trials were conducted and analysed, making it impossible to know how much the drug actually helps to reduce drinking in patients dependent on alcohol.
Outlined in the journal Addiction, a group of experts analysed the published studies of nalmefene that formed the basis for the licensing and NICE decision. They concluded that evidence of its effectiveness was weak, and any possible effect on patients was small at around a one drink per day reduction on average. Continue reading