FDA Approves Weight-Loss Pill

    30 May 2003, Middletown, New Jersey, USA --- Prescription drugs on the pharmacy shelves at an Eckerd pharmacy and drug store in Port Monmouth New Jersey.  Lipitor is the number one selling blood pressure medication in the United States. --- Image by © James Leynse/CORBIS

    James Leynse / Corbis

    Arena Pharmaceutical struck gold on Tuesday when the Food and Drug Administration approved its anti-obesity pill Belviq, the first new prescription drug for weight loss to hit the pharmaceutical market in over a decade. The FDA’s approval of the drug comes at a time when more and more doctors are seeking weight-loss treatments to curb America’s surging obesity epidemic. While clinical studies showed that the drug resulted in only modest weight loss, it passed the FDA’s safety test, after being turned down in 2010 amid concerns that animals developed tumors from the drug. The drug has been approved for clinically obese adults who suffer from at least one other weight-related illness, such as high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes.

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