People who suffer from obesity, or weight-related comorbity dieseases such as hypertension, type two diabetes or high cholesteral can now access the first new medication available in 13 years.
Mountain View-based Vivus announced Tuesday that Qsymia, (pronounced Kyoo sim ee’ uh), will be introduced to medical professionals this week at The Obesity Society's Annual Scientific Meeting in San Antonio, Texas and then be available in the U.S. market. The FDA-approved oral prescription drug is mean to work alongside a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adult patients.
"VIVUS is proud to be leading the way in the treatment of obesity, a disease with very serious health consequences," said Peter Tam, president of VIVUS, in a press release. "Qsymia is the first ever combination treatment made available, and today’s introduction marks a new beginning for many patients who struggle with obesity."
According to Tam, Qsymia has been shown to achieve an average weight loss of 10 percent in obese patients when used in conjunction with a lifestyle modification program. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), losing just 10 percent of body weight may help obese patients reduce the risk of developing other medical conditions, while making a meaningful difference in health and well-being.
"With the availability of this new therapeutic option, Americans struggling with obesity finally have another important tool to help address their weight and related co-morbidities," added Joe Nadglowski, Obesity Action Coalition President and CEO.
Healthcare providers are encouraged to take the Qsymia Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program, and only pharmacies that have done REMS may distribute. As part of the REMS program, Qsymia is available only through certified mail order pharmacies that are part of the Qsymia Home Delivery Network including CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens.
"The battle against obesity can seem hopeless, yet given the health consequences, it is absolutely critical that people who are at risk improve their weight," said Donna Ryan, M.D., associate executive director for clinical research at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LA, and former president of The Obesity Society.
"It is time that healthcare professionals have a new medical treatment option allowing them to engage their patients who are in need, and start to turn the tide on this growing crisis."
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