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Britons becoming hooked on unlicensed quit smoking drug

Posted Sep 29 2011 4:10am

A quit smoking drug which costs just 12p a tablet is being investigated by the Department of Health.

The drug, called Tabex, is a herbal remedy made from laburnum seeds and has been used in Eastern Europe since the Second World War but has never been licensed for sale in the UK. A British-led research study found that Tabex is up to three times more effective at helping smokers to quit than similar treatments currently being used in the country. Seven hundred and forty smokers took part in the trial which led to 8.4% of the participants stopping smoking for a year in comparison to only 2.4% of those who received a placebo.

The Department of Health will be researching the drug more thoroughly and predict that if the medicine is made available in the UK it could save the NHS millions of pounds a year. Whilst the drug is not licenced for sale in the UK a flood of people buying Tabex online is expected although Professor Robert West from Cancer Research UK warns people that “Anyone who self-medicates and buys their medicines from internet sites could be in danger or receiving counterfeit… at worst they can kill.”

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