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Friday, 2 November, 2001, 12:57 GMT
Slimming pill doctor struck off
Dr Surendra Raizada
Dr Raizada was reprimanded
A doctor who sold banned slimming pills from a makeshift clinic in Wales has been struck off by the General Medical Council.

Dr Sudesh Madan, 48, flouted medical guidelines when she ran the Look Right slimming clinics with help from her husband Dr Surendra Raizada, 56.

Dr Sudesh Madan
Dr Madan sobbed at the hearing
She sold controversial Duramine pills from a Rhyl beauty parlour and at locations across the northwest of England.

The GMC was told they had sold the pills to an underweight schoolgirl an epileptic and a 17-stone factory worker who then had a heart attack.

On Thursday, a professional conduct committee found her guilty of serious professional misconduct.

Dr Raizada was reprimanded for his lesser involvement in prescribing the drug duromine, a powerful appetite suppressant.

'Failed patients'

Committee chairman, Professor Michael Whitehouse, told a sobbing Dr Madan she failed to safeguard her patients' best medical interest.

He said she did not conduct appropriate examinations nor adequately assess their treatment.

He told her: "You failed, therefore, to prescribe safely to your patients.

Dr Sudesh Madan
Dr Madan sobbed at the hearing
"It is the primary duty of a doctor to ensure that he or she does not cause harm to his or her patients. You did not ensure this.

"Your behaviour over a long period was a gross departure from professional standards."

The clinics were run throughout the North West and Wales from hotels, hairdressers and beauty salons.

They were advertised in newspapers and urged the public to "lose weight safe and fast" using the "latest revolutionary slimming tablet", the hearing was told.

But the drug lost its licence in April 2000 because it was said to have potential links to fits and epilepsy and heart problems.

The drug's licence was later reinstated, but then revoked again in May this year following legal action.

Catalogue of failings

The two doctors admitted to a catalogue of failings including "irresponsibly" prescribing tablets of duromine.

In some cases the slimming pills were handed out to patients regardless of their weight or health.

One patient, Andrew Stott from Chester, suffered a heart attack less than four weeks after Dr Madan prescribed him the drug in June last year.

She admitted to the committee to giving him duromine despite knowing it had lost its licence.

From November 1998 to July last year nine slimmers were seen by Dr Madan and two by her husband.

None of the patients, with the exception of Mr Stott, should have received duromine because their body mass index was below the recommended mark, Dafydd Enoch said.

Professor Whitehouse criticised Dr Raizada for not having any adequate experience or training to advise two slimming patients he saw.

The BBC's Jane Warr
"Dr Madan said the outcome had been a terrible blow"
See also:

10 Sep 01 | Health
Slimming drugs warning
12 Aug 01 | Health
Obesity gene pinpointed
12 Apr 00 | Health
Slimming drug banned
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