The obesity drug branded Belviq was created by Arena Pharmaceuticals and released on Wednesday, June 27, 2012. This is the first obesity drug released and approved by the Food and Drug Administration on the market in 13 years. The popularity of Belviq can be compared to the “quick fix” drug, Fen Phen craze which was eventually retracted from the market in 1997 due to heart complication.
Arena Pharmaceuticals was founded in 1997 and has not had a new product in the marker for over 15 years. They specialize in drugs targeted towards pain treatment, diabetes and other weight related diseases.
Of American adults, 36 percent are considered medically obese according to the Journal of American Medical Association. Belviq opens the doorway for great success for Arena Pharmaceuticals, financially and medically. After a failed release attempt back in 2010, the kinks have been worked out and deemed medically safe for humans. The first clinical trial showed tumors developing in lab rats long term so the FDA demanded further research prior to approval.
The Belviq pill works by blocking signals in the brain that trigger appetite and hunger. This allows people to feel full faster and eat smaller portions. If a patient has not exceeded 5 percent of weight loss after 12 weeks, the drug is recommended to be discontinued.
Belviq is only recommended for adults with a body mass index of 30 or greater. BMI is calculated based off an individuals height and weight. If an adult has a BMI greater than 27, they must also have another health condition driven by obesity to qualify for Belviq.
Six follow-up studies will be performed along with studies looking at long-term risk factors such as increase in heart attack or increase in stroke, according to the FDA. This drug will be the next craze among life-long dieters and those that are desperate to gain control over eating.