Pharmaceutical professionals like Brent Bankosky applaud the FDA’s approval of new prescription drug Belviq. The drug focuses on long-term weight loss for the obese, providing numerous benefits.
For the first time in well over ten years, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug directed towards weight loss. It may come as a surprise—but a welcome one—to some doctors and pharmacists. Potential prescription drugs aimed at weight loss have often come under high scrutiny from the FDA.
The drug, Belviq by Arena Pharmaceuticals, is the first to consistently result in weight loss in overweight patients. Pharmaceutical experts, Brent Bankosky among them, commend both Arena and the FDA for this joint effort. For what seems like forever, doctors have been yearning to finally see a weight loss drug hit the market.
Many with obesity problems also have other conditions, such as high cholesterol or diabetes. To obtain the drug from their doctor, patients must exhibit at least one condition related to their obesity. In approving the drug, the FDA recommends patients commit to a healthier lifestyle and diet.
The pill had a bit of a long journey. Arena originally submitted Belviq in 2010. The FDA, however, responsibly voiced concerns over the drug. In lab tests, the pill had known results of creating tumors in animal testing. After resubmitting the pill, the FDA has found little to no risk of tumor development in humans.
Many Americans are rejoicing at this approval. Medical professional Brent Bankosky notes that nearly 35% of Americans suffer from obesity and related issues. Patrick O’Neil, from the Obesity Society, applauds the FDA for taking obesity seriously. Yet, he intimates, it’s not a complete or major part of the answer to the obesity pandemic.
However, Belviq’s release will lead to further studies in obesity treatments. The current results of the drug’s testing remain small but consistent. In the tests, patients shed between 3 to 3.7% of their beginning weight over the course of a year. Of patients without diabetes, approximately 47% lost at least 5% of their body weight. That 5% stood as the FDA’s approval mark.
Pharmacists hope to discover even more about potential drug treatments for obesity. Several drugs, such as the experimental Qnexa, have seen an average weight loss of 11%. Qnexa has also seen more than 83% of their tests result in more than 5% of body weight loss.
Brent Bankosky possesses twenty years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. His work has included studies in diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, and more.