FDA Approves Belviq Despite Concerns
Despite objections from consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the diet drug Belviq on Wednesday (June 27, 2012). Belviq (locaserin) works to block appetite signals in the brain in order to help obese adults lose weight.
Public Citizen Urged Against Approval
The consumer group Public Citizen urged U.S. regulators not to approve Belviq, made by Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc., citing concerns it could increase patients’ risk of heart valve damage.
The group cited an FDA advisory panel meeting last month in which officials raised serious concerns about evidence of increased valve disease risks in patients who used Belviq in clinical trials.
Belviq Linked to Tumors in Animals
This isn’t the first time Belviq has been introduced to the FDA. The FDA rejected Belviq in 2010 due to concerns about potential cancer risks. The company resubmitted the drug with additional data this year, and the FDA reportedly decided there was little risk of tumors in humans.
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