Day: June 28, 2012

Belviq: The New Diet Drug

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I don’t know if the risk associated is worth an estimated 5% of my weight decreased in a year. Using the charts below, let us break these numbers down, in regards to Belviq:

BMI
Weight   Status
Below   18.5 Underweight
18.5 –   24.9 Normal
25.0 –   29.9 Overweight
30.0 and Above Obese
Height
Weight Range
BMI
Weight Status
5′ 9″ 124                    lbs or less Below                    18.5 Underweight
125 lbs to 168 lbs 18.5                    to 24.9 Normal
169 lbs to 202 lbs 25.0                    to 29.9 Overweight
203 lbs or more 30 or                    higher Obese

Belviq is for people who have a BMI of 30 and higher; overweight patients with a BMI of 27 or higher can also take this drug. This drug estimates a loss of at leat 5% of your body weight, within a year. So for instance, based on the chart above, 10.15 pounds of the 203 pounds listed in the above chart will be lost. It states on the FDA Approval Letter that this drug, along with reduced calorie intake, and increased exercise was more effective. This medicine is consumed twice a day, and has side effects and warnings, such as

  • Discontinue use, if 5% weight loss has not occurred by the 12th week
  • Valvular Heart Disease
  • Psychiatric Disorders

Unless there is a medical reason that prohibits a patient losing weight, with lower calorie intake and exercise, why would they take this medicine? Five percent of 300 is only 15 pounds, and I would have to ask if this drug is worth the risk? This is about 1 to 2 pounds loss a week. I can attest that this is achievable, with mild, but constant activity and increase in healthier foods, without medications. I eat whatever I want to eat, just in smaller portions, with an increase in fruits and vegetable as fillers. I get full eating heavier, healthier foods that do not add weight, when eaten in moderation.

If a drug needs to trigger your brain that you are not hungry, then why isn’t obesity taken more seriously as a mental disorder, widespread?Belviq was denied two years ago, because of concerns of the risks, although approved yesterday, without mentioning any changes. Was this drug passed to offer a ‘solution’ for obesity, without really being an answer? Was this drug placed in the market for profit? Was this drug approved, due to pressures of the government? I ask these questions, because it makes no sense how it would help me, for instance, lose weight that I am losing on my own. I have read trying to find the ‘ah ha’ factor, but I can’t find one. I am sure there is a reason that there has not been a  drug approved in 13 years, for obesity. I wonder if it has been so long, because weight loss happens only when the person is ready to commit, regardless of efforts from health care professionals?

This drug, with its FDA approval, can now be made available to all private and public insurance carriers. It is an oral tablet, therefore covered under the pharmacy benefit. I wonder how much this drug retails for. I am curious about the reimbursement factors of this drug, and the expected cost share to the consumers. However, I have been unable to find this information.

References:

Boyles, Salynn (2012). FDA Approves Diet Pill Belviq. WebMD. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20120627/fda-approves-diet-pill-belviq

Eisai (2012). Highlights of Prescribing Information. Retrieved from http://us.eisai.com/package_inserts/BelviqPI.pdf

Berlrot, B., Yukhanonov, A. (2012). FDA OKs first obesity drug in 13 years. Reuters. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/27/us-arena-obesity-idUSBRE85Q1AA20120627

Arena (2012). Arena Pharmaceuticals and Eisai Announce FDA Approval of BELVIQ® (lorcaserin HCl) for Chronic Weight Management in Adults who are Overweight with a Comorbidity or Obese. Retrieved from http://invest.arenapharm.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=687182

Hey… DON’T STARE!

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My daughter is 18 months old, and quite naturally, she will stare at someone new. However, I always say to her, don’t stare, but you can say hi. And because she is this bubbly, happy little person, she does not have a problem, throwing her hand up, saying very loudly.. HEEEEYYYYY, and will start a babbling conversation with you. It’s okay to just say ‘uh huh’, ‘I know’, or ‘for real?’ No matter how much, I say ‘hello’, she has chosen HHHEEEEYYYY! Then as we push-off or leave, I tell her to say bye-bye, and again, very loudly she yells BYE -BYEEEE, with this very proud wave she has concocted.

This is my first time at the wheel of motherhood, but it seems rude to stare at someone, regardless of the reason. Within the Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) community, many of the children have scarred skin badly or covered completely with bandages, except their faces. I have heard many complaints, within our community how it upsets them to no end, especially the children. Listen, we would rather you not stare, and if you are curious, ask. Remember these are still children, and the look you give is heartbreaking, although you don’t know it. They can’t help it. It’s a genetic disease that has no cure, and unfortunately it is real.

If you do not know what a severely affected child looks like, imagine someone who has 3rd degree burns, everywhere. These children have not been burned; their skin is extremely fragile, and it is easy to experience tears and/or blisters, which is extraordinarily painful. There are children who have fused fingers. It looks like their hands are missing. They are actually there, their skin has just fused together.

Do you see why EB is the worst disease you have never heard of?

www.debra.org

www.EBfriends.ning.org

http://altinkeserlove.blogspot.co.uk/

There are children, like my daughter, who has this diagnosis, yet show very little to no sign of this disease; it isn’t uncommon. We are fortunate, but we will never forget about the other families, who are still actively fighting everyday for a cure or better solutions than a screaming child during bandage changes, while preparing for a pool salt or diluted bleach bath. Weird? Well, constant infection is a serious threat. If one goes undetected, it could be deadly. So, please don’t stare. Speak, ask questions, be informed, and know that you have just given a mom and dad a validation for getting up every day, doing what they must. We just want our children smiling, happy, and as comfortable as possible.

Be informed!