Regular readers of the Health Hound know that I am no fan of Big Pharma and the FDA. So unlike a lot of the couch potatoes in the country that may have been watching the same 11-o-clock news report I was last night, I was a bit less than thrilled about the FDA’s first approval of a weightloss drug – Belvic – since 1997.
The new drug, developed by Arena Pharmaceuticals of San Diego, before approval was known as lorcaserin, and will now be marketed under the name Belviq by Eisai Inc., the American branch of the Japanese pharmaceutical company. Eisai is hoping that it will be embraced as “an option” for the nearly one-third of the American population that is clinically obese.
Thanks in no small part to the efforts of The Hound and my colleagues, there is a growing segment of the population more heath conscious and interested in natural weightloss. Combine that with the checkered past of Diet Pills, and it remains to be seen if Belvic becomes the “magic bullet” Eisai hopes it will be.
In a statement to the press commenting on the approval, Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s drug evaluation center said “Obesity threatens the overall well being of patients and is a major public health concern.” I agree, with the good doctor, I just do not think, a new drug is the way to approach the problem – especially when there are so many proven natural and healthy alternatives to weightloss available.
A History of Harm
There has not been a prescription diet pill approved by the FDA in 13 years, and with good reason. Accutrim, and the infamous Fen-Phen, were both pulled from the market after FDA approval for serious health concerns including heart valve damage. Production of Merida, another promised miracle weightloss pill was halted by its manufacture in 2010 because of its association with strokes.
The only other currently available prescription weight loss pill, Xenical, available since 1999 is hardly every used, because it only produces moderate weight loss, and produces many gastrointestinal problems.
The Hound has absolutely every reason to believe that Belvic will see history repeating itself, and will be pulled from the shelves in few years. The FDA itself denied Belvic’s application in 2010,because of similar heart valve problems as reported with Fen-Phen. It was only this year when Eisai submitted new data that showed that the drug did not produce heart problems, that it was fast-tracked for approval.
No Short Cut
Even the manufactures of Belvic themselves admit that it only produces moderate weightloss In their trials after one year, those that took the drug lost an average of 5.8% of their body fat, when combined with diet and exercise. Those in the placebo group, taking a fake pill and diet and exercise only, lost 2.3% on average – not really a difference worth risking your life over is it? The makers of Belvic say it is designed for people that need a little extra help staying on a diet and fitness regimen. A little extra help – as in a “supplement” to diet and exercise? Well there are many natural supplements that will do just that – without potentially deadly side effects.
Why start taking a prescription medication that could have you signing up for a class action law-suit against the Pharmaceutical company that poisoned you a few years from now – when you can sign up for “The Health Hound’s Fast, Safe, & Effective Way To Lose Weight Quickly!” report today!