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Controversial New Anti-Spontaneous Combustion Drug Enters Canadian Market


[ HOME ]   |     |     |   Issue 12 October 19th 2001  

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Controversial New Anti-Spontaneous Combustion Drug Enters Canadian Market

Now available in Canada

After a three-year trial period, the federal government has finally given approval for the sale of Combustabon in Canada. Manufactured by Flemco, a Belgian pharmaceutical multinational, the drug is designed to reduce the possibility of embarrassing spontaneous combustion-a condition that affects up to one Canadian every one hundred and fifty years.

As its name suggests, spontaneous combustion involves people combusting spontaneously.

Although Combustabon has been available in Europe and the United Sates for years, Health Canada delayed approval of the drug in 1998 as the department investigated side effects that have been associated with the drug, including severe heart palpitations, anxiety attacks, nausea, impotence, obesity, colo-rectal cancer and sudden unexplained death.

While a departmental spokesperson conceded that there is a link between the drug and the aforementioned litany of side effects, the link is not conclusive. Therefore, the drug has been approved in the name of public interest, said Yvon Égliseur of Health Canada.

"While there is certainly evidence that there are problems with this drug, it's important people not combust spontaneously. It has a tendency to weird people out, y'know?" said Égliseur.

At 278 dollars Canadian per 16-capsule bottle, critics of Combustabon have also claimed that the drug is an overpriced placebo that preys upon the irrational fears of the paranoid and hypochondriacs.

"There has not been a documented case of spontaneous combustion in this country in the last 150 years," said Dr. Jonathon Wilmer of the Canadian Medical Association. "There is absolutely no reason for anyone to take this drug, and any medical practitioner who says otherwise is a quack or on the take."

From Flemco's Headquarters in Antwerp, Loïc Flambeau, the company's Director of Marketing, responded to Dr. Wilmer's criticisms by stressing that the drug is effective. "Well yes, I mean….there are people who have not taken the drug who have not spontaneously combusted, but the question really is, are you willing to take that risk?

"Combustabon's record speaks for itself. Not one person who has taken this drug has ever spontaneously combusted," proclaimed Flambeau.

However, Flambeau refused to respond to further allegations from the Canadian Medical Association that the real purpose of the drug is to get people sick so that they have to take additional Flemco drugs that are even more expensive than Combustabon. "No, no…..no more interview….that is……how do you say?…….slander. Tell me who said that."

Betty Mullen of the Canadian Organization of Aged People (C.O.A.P.) expressed her group's support for Combustabon's arrival in Canada, saying that one life lost to spontaneous combustion is one too many.

"It's about time we had the freedom to choose," said Mullen, before leaving to get her prescription of Flemco's 'Plague Away' re-filled.