Yet Another Prescription Weight-Loss Wonder Drug Hits the Shelves

pillsDoes anybody else find it somewhat odd that the FDA didn't approve any weight-loss drugs at all for 13 years ... and then suddenly, within the past month, they gave two medications the thumbs-up? First there was Belviq, which is supposed to be less damaging to the heart than the uber-popular (no longer available) Fen-phen. (Sounds less effective, too, if the clinical trial results mean anything.)

Now we have Qsymia (really, pharmaceutical companies? And that would be pronounced how, exactly?), which combines two drugs, phentermine (a chemical variation on amphetamine, which is apparently not dangerous when it's not paired with fenfluramine) and topiramate, an anti-seizure medication.

The thing is, neither Belviq nor Qsymia sounds all that different from any of the old diet pills. So why is the FDA approving them anyway, after all those years of, well, disapproval?

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One has to wonder if it has anything at all to do with the fact that associated medical costs for obesity in the U.S. currently add up to about $147 billion annually. Whoa! These obese people are costing the powers that be a lot of money. And that, apparently, is a far more frightening side effect than, say, possible heart valve damage.

Look, I'm not saying the obesity epidemic isn't a major issue. Of course it is, and of course the medical community needs to address that issue. I'm just saying, the timing here is a little suspect. At least the way I see it.

Do you think the sudden approval of two weight loss drugs after all these years is questionable?


Image via Melanie Tata/Flickr

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