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Doc, 85, cashes in on diet pill 'racket'.

A DOCTOR who is still practising at the age of 85 is running a dodgy sideline - selling diet pills to women who are desperate to slim.

Dr Samuel Hales prescribes the slimming drugs Xenical, Duromine and Ionamin at his office next to top store Selfridges in London's Oxford Street.

The "miracle" pills are supposed to be prescribed only to people who are grossly overweight.

But Hales exploits the fact that most of his patients are young women who want to look like stick-thin models.

He gave them to a Sunday People investigator within minutes - even though he assessed she was just ONE POUND overweight. He said she also needed to keep on a 1,000-a-day calorie diet.

One horrified GP said: "Pills like Xenical should NEVER be prescribed to girls who are within a pound or two of their ideal weight.

"If somebody is stones overweight and putting themselves at risk of a heart attack because they are so obese it can be helpful.

"But slimming pills should never be used to make already slim people even thinner."

Hales had no such concerns. He charged pounds 40 for 14 pills of the new slimming drug Xenical.

He also charged pounds 15 for seven Ionamin pills and pounds 12 for seven Duromine capsules. Both are class C controlled drugs.

He also supplied Vitamin B6 tablets which he said were essential to take with slimming pills.

When our investigator revealed her identity, Hales said: "I gave you these drugs to help you. We know what we are doing here. I'm a professional."
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Author:May, Fiona
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Mar 14, 1999
Words:260
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