FDA Approves First Obesity Drug in 13 Years

Category: Health / Jun 28, 2012 5:24PM EDT

In response to the rapid growth of national obesity, type two diabetes and high cholesterol U.S Health regulators have responded with a pill. But not just any pill. Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc will use this pill to treat obesity, making it the first weight loss drug in 13 years to be approved.

Public health advocates are now pushing for new solutions to fight the growing epidemic of obesity. Arena shares jumped more than 45% following the announcement. Arena's lorcaserin  LOR-CAS-I-RIN, which will be sold under the brand name Belviq, was one of three experimental weight-loss drugs seeking U.S Food and Drug Administration approval after initial rejections by the agency.

But not everyone can use the new weight loss drug. It is approved for adults with a body mass index of 30 or greater, which is considered obese. Adults with a BMI of 27 or greater are also approved in addition to those individuals suffering from high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol. Time will tell if this pill will in fact impact the national fight against obesity.