Experts Back Anti-Obesity Drug

    Topamax is on display at Maximart Pharmacy in Palo Alto, Calf. Qnexa is a combination of two older drugs: the amphetamine phentermine and topiramate, an anticonvulsant drug sold by Johnson & Johnson as Topamax. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

    Paul Sakuma / AP Photo

    The FDA may be close to approving a new drug to fight obesity. An outside panel of experts voted 20–2 on Wednesday to recommend approval of the drug Qnexa even though the FDA had already rejected it because of safety concerns, saying the benefits outweigh the heart risks. The committee also recommended that the drug manufacturer, Vivus, conduct a study on potential side effects and suggested that pregnant women not take the drug. If the FDA approves the drug, it would be the first new prescription weight-loss drug in 13 years. The FDA, which is not bound by the panel's recommendation, will make a decision by April 17.

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