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The prescription options available to people looking to lose weight are extremely limited, in fact it’s over-optimistic to suggest that there are any options at all. Currently those who need to lose weight with the help of prescription treatments only have Xenical to choose from. This is why the news that Vivus is attempting to gain FDA approval for Qnexa again, has many people, in desperate need of an alternative treatment, anxiously awaiting the results.
Two years ago Qnexa was rejected by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States because of worries that it could increase a user’s risk of developing heart complications and could also potentially be harmful to unborn foetuses.
However, Vivus who developed Qnexa, is using the US’s current obesity crisis to tips scales in their favour. The company is arguing that in the light of current circumstances surrounding escalating obesity numbers, the benefits of Qnexa clearly outweigh the risks. They also state that the treatment has been proven to help minimise the effects of diabetes and high blood pressure, two conditions for which the risk level significantly increases when a person is obese.
The only treatment that equals Qnexa’s weight loss benefits are surgical procedures such as stomach stapling, which is also risky, if not more. In the UK it just isn’t an option to many people who need to lose weight in order to preserve their health, largely because of the risk but also likely because of the additional strain on NHS resources.
An independent panel of advisers have already responded largely in favour of approval for the treatment. However the final decision is set for 17 April and the FDA will need to decide whether they feel that the risks of this treatment are manageable or not and whether people will truly benefit from taking this treatment.