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February 23rd, 2012
03:02 PM ET

FDA advisors recommend diet drug

On Wednesday morning, an advisory committee for the Food and Drug Administration recommended that the FDA approve Qnexa, a weight-loss drug that works to suppress appetite. The panel voted 20-to-2 in favor of approval.

The FDA has until April 17 to decide whether to take the committee's recommendation. If they do so, it will be the first time the FDA has approved a weight-loss drug since 1999.

The advisors' decision was a reversal of a previous recommendation in 2010. At the time, a panel rejected Qnexa based on concerns about increased heart rates, psychiatric problems and birth defects in patients taking the pills.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains what this means and what's next in the video above.

Read more on the history of diet pills and the FDA at Time.com and why there hasn't been a safe weight loss pill here. 


Filed under: Weight loss

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. JimPurdy.blogspot.com

    When the wrong lifestyle causes health problems, the solution should be to correct the lifestyle, not to take a BigPharma chemical with serious side effects.
    About 40 years ago, a doctor wrote me a prescription for the diet pill fad of the time: amphetamines. The side effects were so bad that I was back in his office the next day, telling him that I was not going to take any more of that junk.
    Then, when Xenical came out, I tried that, only to discover the, uh, messy consequences of oily leaks. Exxon Valdez in a pill!!
    I'm still working on weight loss, but I'm through with BigPharma's magic pills.

    February 23, 2012 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hannah007

      FDA USDA are all corrupt

      February 24, 2012 at 10:33 | Report abuse |
  2. Chris

    I disagree with the FDA's approach on combating obesity in the United States. How about promoting proper nutrition and exercise instead of putting people on pills?
    KEEP YOUR DRUG OUT OF MY FOOD ADMINISTRATION – they should be separate agencies!!!

    February 23, 2012 at 17:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alex

      This is a ludicrous statement. They do support healthy living, but that is not their job in these instances- their job is to determine if a drug company has enough data to support the claim that the benefits of a given compound outweigh the potential risks. They will approve drugs as safe to use when prescribed by a doctor, they don't actively endorse anything.

      February 24, 2012 at 16:19 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Alex – please tell me how they support healthy living? Care to give examples to back up your statement?

      February 24, 2012 at 16:21 | Report abuse |
  3. bobby

    You watch. Two years from now , this drug will be taken off the market due to dangerous side=effects.. FDA, Federal Drug Approver

    February 23, 2012 at 20:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Pghtaxpayer

      Agreed. FDA has been pushed by Big Pharma to approve its drugs quicker and quicker (Big Pharma gives Big Payouts to politicians). FDA allows even US servicemen and women to be forcibly vaccinated with a slew of unapproved vaccines. That ought to tell you something right there.

      February 24, 2012 at 08:28 | Report abuse |
  4. GetHealthy

    I've had personal experience with both Topamax and Phenteramine. There was a point in my life where I was very overweight. I was put on Topamax for it's off-label weight loss effects. It worked and I lost about 30 lbs pretty quickly. That was enough to get me motivated, interested, and hopeful that things could change. I ended up losing about 80 lbs with hard work at the gym and making healthy choices in my diet. It's been two years now and I've kept the weight off and I go to the gym almost every day. I also no longer have issues with gout, sleep apnea, acid reflux, and depression. It helped me to change my life.

    I was sad when the FDA declined to approve this drug a few years ago. I felt it could help so many people like it helped me. I'm glad to see that it's being reconsidered because so many people could benefit.

    February 23, 2012 at 22:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. lynnetta

    So can anyone tell me where to buy this product and how much it is?

    February 24, 2012 at 00:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Take it from me

    So once again Big Pharma and the FDA are in bed together, public be damned. Brought to you by the same folks that developed and placed genetically modified organisms on your dinner plate without so much as a label notifying you of what you're actually eating. Oh sure, they know best, all right. After all, the benefits outweigh the risks–at least to their pocket books!!

    February 24, 2012 at 02:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Siege268

      Yep, we live in a country that worships the almighty dollar. McDonalds and the like sell us fast food and make huge profits, we all get fat and take pharmaceuticals to lose weight. These big corporations back politicians who help them make lots of money on our backs an on the backs of our children.

      February 24, 2012 at 06:14 | Report abuse |
  7. Pghtaxpayer

    If our government truly cared about the overweight problem in our country, it'd put a lot more money into repairing our crumbling sidewalks, building more parks and playgrounds and rec facilities for kids and adults alike, encouraging rails to trails instead of yanking that funding, and paying for frequent phys ed in elementary & high schools. All of which's funding is being yanked by Republicans you voted in at the last election cycle.

    February 24, 2012 at 08:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Bengal

    Shoot. If you weigh a ton, look at what you eat and your lifestyle. Start eating healthy foods – stuff you make from scratch! Eat salads. Whole grains. Walk or run 30 minutes a day. It's not that hard. Stop watching tv, stop eating processed crap, and take some responsibility, people! Pills are not the answer...a band-aid, perhaps...but the real fix is in a lifestyle change.

    February 24, 2012 at 18:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Bob in LG

    I was nearly overwhelmed by the amount of useful, well-presented information in this article. I'm actually being sarcastic. The writer must have ran out of time and had to truncate the article before any informatoin was given.

    February 26, 2012 at 12:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Dick Saunders Jr

    The best thing you can do for weight loss is cut out the 200 lbs of sugar a year. Best thing for your health is tell your doctor you dont want pill solutions if possible.

    February 26, 2012 at 22:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. stacey

    I honestly think one of the many reasons we are experiencing increasing obesity in America has to do with the economy. Not saying it's the ONLY reason but would be curious to see some research supporting my thinking. More and more Americans are losing jobs, laid off for periods of time, losing homes, and entering poverty. Also the majority is living paycheck to paycheck with young children they need to shelter and feed. What I don't understand is why Michelle Obama or anyone else advocating towards obesity, mentions the fact that the healthier foods are more expensive. You can easily go spend 5$ on 5 tv dinners to feed your family, however the amount of sodium ,etc is triple times the daily amount. There have been some healthier tv dinners coming out, but none for a dollar, and most 6$. This is just one example, healthy chips/popcorn/snacks/lean meat/drinks are WAY more expensive then the junk food available for 1$. And, if you and your family havent ate a meal, you arent checking the food labels, your checking your wallet. I'd be interested to see which class of Americans are the most obese..but pretty sure I already know!

    February 26, 2012 at 23:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Ashu

    I appreciate that this was a irhroble event to wake up to and that the Rimuhosting staff scrambled to correct the problems. I recognize also that Rimuhosting has been at the mercy of third parties with whom it contracts to provide service to its clients/customers. There are only so many variables one can reasonably manage and failures will happen from time to time e28094 just the nature of the beast.However, one thing I don't understand is how e28094 short of a direct lightning strike e28094 a power event could corrupt some servers. It's as if this Dallas data center has no provision for UPS battery backup so that servers could be brought down (relatively) cleanly.I'm getting the impression that many servers were simply deprived of power on the spot e28094 no clean shutdown process. As a result, the file systems (and some VPS's) may have been corrupted.I don't expect uninterrupted power, but I do think it's reasonable that secondary power be available at least long enough for on-site technicians to manually shut down the servers to ensure a better start-up process once power has been restored.If I'm mistaken and if battery backup was in place, then what led to the inability of a number of servers to come back up? (This question excludes config-related issues such as SSL certs and the like.) If I'm not mistaken, what measures are being taken to correct this so that future power events can be handled more gracefully by this data center?Thanks for your work and for providing direct and straightforward status reports to your customers.

    April 7, 2012 at 20:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Krishna Shurman

    Some diet pills actually do more harm than good. Be careful with diet pills.;

    Look at all of the most recent post at our personal web blog
    http://www.foodsupplementdigest.com/l-cysteine-benefits/

    November 3, 2012 at 10:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. John McGlynn

    Eat less, exercise more – great idea. What about people who CAN'T exercise? Just a few years ago (7) I 15-20 hrs/week of intense cardiovascular exercise – marathon runner, and triathlete with 6% body fat. Then I had a close encounter with a car while on a 100+ mile training ride (for an Ironman) – 6 ruptured lumbar discs and 4 failed back surgeries later, I now have BMI approaching 30...I can barely walk, much less run the 10 miles/day I used to average. I really try to eat healthy with restricted portions, but I am on serious, hard-core pain-meds which, I believe, really slow your metabolism... a lot. The "one size fits all" answer of "eat less, exercise more" just doesn't cut it for everyone. The only way I will shed 35 pounds and get back to where I was when I was racing Ironman triathlons is "better living through chemistry". And I simply can't believe that I am alone – there are likely many, many people in my position. So, think twice before making blanket statements.

    June 26, 2013 at 00:34 | Report abuse | Reply

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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.