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

3 thoughts on “Belviq: The New Diet Drug

    Marvin Schoeder said:
    July 8, 2012 at 1:02 am

    I believe that avoiding processed foods is a first step in order to lose weight. They may taste great, but processed foods have very little vitamins and minerals, making you take more simply to have enough vitality to get over the day. Should you be constantly having these foods, switching to whole grains and other complex carbohydrates will make you to have more vitality while eating less. Interesting blog post.

    Like

    Harold Morlock said:
    July 8, 2012 at 1:52 am

    One thing I’d like to touch upon is that fat burning plan fast can be carried out by the proper diet and exercise. A person’s size not merely affects appearance, but also the general quality of life. Self-esteem, depressive disorder, health risks, and also physical capabilities are damaged in weight gain. It is possible to make everything right and still gain. Should this happen, a medical problem may be the root cause. While an excessive amount of food and never enough physical exercise are usually the culprit, common medical conditions and traditionally used prescriptions can easily greatly enhance size. Thx for your post here.

    Like

    Eliseo Mishulouin said:
    July 8, 2012 at 2:18 am

    I believe that avoiding refined foods will be the first step in order to lose weight. They can taste very good, but ready-made foods contain very little vitamins and minerals, making you take in more simply to have enough energy to get through the day. When you are constantly consuming these foods, transitioning to cereals and other complex carbohydrates will assist you to have more power while ingesting less. Good blog post.

    Like

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