The anti-obesity pill made by Arena Pharmaceuticals, called Belviq, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the first drug to suppress appetite in 13 years.
They are allowing Arena to produce and market the drug due to public health supporters pushing for help in the nation’s fight against obesity.
The FDA set a high bar for approval on these drugs due to previous health problems and deaths. An example of this is the well-known drug “fen-phen,” which was taken off of the market in 1997.
However, with nearly two-thirds of Americans overweight or obese present cost in public health are escalating the federal administration has been under a lot of pressure to approve a weight-loss pill.
“It appears that the agency’s view has officially shifted towards ‘not treating obesity is a risk in and of itself, so we’re willing to put drugs in the market in order to help people lose weight, even if there’s risk associated’,” Cowen and Co analyst Simos Simeonidis said in research note.
Belviq works by blocking appetite signals within the brain to make those taking the pill feel full after eating less food than usual.