The Food and Drug Administration has latched on to the latest in weight loss prescription pills for overweight Americans. According to the NY Times, a new drug developed by Arena Pharmaceuticals in San Diego will be available on the market to aid in the obesity epidemic.

The drug will be called Belviq by Eisai Inc. It’s the first pill to be prescribed in over a decade that targets obesity. The last one on the market was Roche’s Xenical in 1999, which the Times said proved to have “unpleasant effects on the digestive system.”

Belviq was approved by an advisory committee at the FDA. After a vote of 18 to 4 on whether to allow the drug on the market, it became the first from Arena – a company that was founded in 1997. Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the drug evaluation center at the F.D.A., expressed her concern over these health issues.

“Obesity threatens the overall well being of patients and is a major public health concern.” she said in a statement.

Two clinical trials have shown that 23 percent of the patients using it have lost 10 percent of their body weight. Yet, there are still some trials taking place and there’s no word on when Belviq will be available for Americans to begin to use.


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