MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (CBS DC) — The FDA approved a promising new diet pill Tuesday that can help patients lose 10 percent of their weight.
It’s the first diet medication that could deliver double digit results.
USA Today reports that the new drug, Qsymia, a type of garcinia cambogia extract that when used with a diet and exercise plan, increases a patient’s weight loss. The drug works by suppressing appetite and makes a patient feel full.
Obesity is classified as being 30 pounds over a healthy weight. The drug will provide a range of medical benefits for patients that need help controlling their weight. In addition to weight loss, the drug will also reduce blood pressure and the risk of developing diabetes.
Despite the promises of the drug, it does have its detractors. Sidney Wolfe, director of the health research group at Public Citizen, doesn’t agree with the FDA’s decision to approve Qsymia.
“It’s either magical or delusional thinking to believe that a drug will turn off hunger without hitting other targets where it will do harm, which is usually the cardiovascular system,” Wolfe told USA Today.
The medication increased test subjects’ heart rate, and four patients that were on Qsymia had non-fatal heart attacks during the research.
“Doctors and patients are desperate for a quick fix,” Wolfe told USA Today. “They are desperate to the point where they are willing to risk patients’ lives.”
Several diet pills have been pulled off the market due to the damage they have caused to the cardiovascular system.
Peter Tam, president of Vivus Inc., the makers of Qsymia, told USA Today insurance companies most likely won’t cover the cost of the drug. But the out of pocket cost won’t be “outrageous.”
The drug will be released in the last quarter of this year.