Obesity Drugs Await FDA Approval
POSTED: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - 10:57am
UPDATED: Thursday, April 5, 2012 - 9:19am
New drugs to treat obesity could soon be available to overweight patients.
Two new obesity drugs could be just weeks away from hearing if they're approved to be sold in the United States.
With one in three people in the country classified as obese, it could be very widely used.
"Because we've not had a drug approved for over 10 years, and we have very few weight loss drugs, both of these could be blockbusters. either one could do very well," said Ken Fujioka od Scripps Health.
The Food and Drug Administration is slated to rule on Qnexa in two weeks, tests have shown that patients using the drug lost up to 10-percent of their weight, so a 300-pound person could lose up to 30 pounds.
Meanwhile arena pharmaceuticals will meet with the FDA next month for its drug Lorcaserin.
"Lorcaserin has made that benchmark of what we call five percent responders. So most of the patients will lose at least five percent of their weight," Dr. Fujioka said.
But the new medication doesn't mean that people can start gobbling donuts and ice cream. Dr.Fujioka says that the FDA will likely require that it be prescribed in conjunction with diet and exercise in hopes of preventing other diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
"If you do the two together, now you can get 10 to 15 percent weight loss... that's a lot more in terms of health benefits and a lot more weight loss in itself," he said.
This is the second time these drugs have been submitted to the FDA for review. Applications were also filed in 2010, but this time around the companies have been able to respond to concerns about side effects that may be associated with the pills.