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An FDA advisory committee has voted in favor of an investigational anti-obesity drug, which is a significant step towards obtaining full FDA approval. The proposed prescription medication in question is Iorcaserin from Arena Pharmaceuticals, and it would be sold under the brand name Lorquess.

The company touts the drug as an “appetite suppressant which helps patients lose weight by essentially causing them to feel less hunger sensations.” According to the advisory committee’s announcement, the drug would be used as an “adjunct to diet and exercise for weight management” in patients with a body mass index equal or greater to 30 or 27 for patients who have weight-related co-morbidities.

Without a doubt, obesity rates in the United States need to be dealt with. Study after study has demonstrated the health issues that obesity can cause. And, certainly obesity is not something that can be solved overnight. Individuals’ weight issues involve a host of factors that make it difficult to drop those pounds to a healthy BMI.

But seeing articles like this make me wonder if drugs are really the solution? It often seems like when dealing with issues like obesity, we want a “quick fix” that will make the problem go away. Taking a pill, after all, seems a lot easier than substantial lifestyle changes involving diet and exercise. But obesity is a complex medical issue that requires attention on all fronts. Perhaps a drug like Lorquess has a role to play in order to calibrate our brain chemistry. But, we can’t disregard the tried and true roles of diet and exercise.


About the Editors: The Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.

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