Weight loss drugs have had an incredibly hard time sustaining effectiveness and remaining free of litigation from unforeseen side effects. The United States Food and Drug Administration has not approved a prescription diet drug in 13 years. The last weight loss pill with a high success rate was Xenecal, which was approved in 1999. Since then, Xenecal has lost popularity and the medical community has been searching for a suitable replacement.
Since then, investors all over the world have dumped hundreds of billions of dollars into the research departments of pharmaceutical companies hoping they will stumble on to the next miracle weight loss drug. Their investment seems to have paid off in a few encouraging medical breakthroughs.
Arena Pharmaceuticals GmbH, located in Zolfingen, Switzerland has nailed what looks to be like the next popular and effective prescription that targets the hormones controlling appetite and digestion. Known side effects of this new drug are mild for patients with obesity as the prime health issues and patients that have other ailments like Type 2 Diabetes. It claims to be able to decrease body weight by up to 5% when paired with regular exercise and a sensible nutrition plan.
Arena’s new miracle is labeled Belviq (Locaserin Hydrochloride), and the Food and Drug Administration recently gave it the green flag for distribution and sales. Along with Arena’s United States distributor Eisai, Inc. of Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, this drug hit the worldwide prescription market on June 27th.
A company based in California is also waiting for approval of a drug they hope will rival Belviq in total weight loss potential and minimal side effects. Vivus, Inc. has developed qsymia (Phentermine and Topiramate). They claim qsymia will be competitive and successful in everyway, but as a long term therapy will be more reliable. They have not yet secured FDA approval, but are projecting July, 2012 as the month approval will be granted. qsymia could hit the market as early as the spring of 2013.
As to why this carbon copy has not yet been approved there are several theories. Professionals in many sectors are speculating reasons from educated and experienced points of view.
“The reasons cited were ambiguities in the safety evaluation with regard to memory loss and depression.” From http://seakingalpha.com
Perhaps the world’s population will benefit greatly from both?