Why did it take so long to get a new weight-loss drug approved?
The history of diet pills has been plagued by safety problems. Since 1999, when the last prescription weight-loss medication, Xenical (orlistat), was given the green light, one weight loss drug, Meridia (sibutramine) was taken off the market when users began showing increased risk of heart problems, and two others, Belviq and Qnexa, were rejected by the FDA over safety concerns. Manipulating the body’s weight-controlling pathways can have long-term consequences on the heart and other metabolic systems, so drug developers have a high bar to clear to prove their compounds are safe.
Read the FDA’s announcement on Belviq here.