Qnexa Obesity Drug Rejected by F.D.A. Panel

The Food and Drug Administration voted against endorsing a prescription drug called Qnexa for obesity. Had it passed, the drug would have been the first new prescription medication for obesity in more than a decade. Their denial of the drug shows that the FDA is still concerned about the health risks that are commonly associated with diet pills.

The vote was finalized at 10 to 6 against endorsing the new diet pill. The organization said that increased heart rate and possible birth defects were the main reasons behind their ruling. They also cited psychiatric problems, and other potential problems that Qnexa may cause.

The vote was closely followed by those in the medical community to see how the FDA would handle new obesity medications. The agency cracked down on diet pills a decade ago, after a number of prescription obesity medications led to death and heart conditions.

“No one wants to conduct a large public health experiment on the population,” said one member of the FDA. Qnexa, will be up for a vote in again in October. Based on their recent decision, the medical community should not expect Qnexa to pass the panel after it has been reviewed. However, the latest vote was a split-decision, which gives hope for a number of companies that are in the process of developing prescription diet medications.

Those who have taken the highest dose of Qnexa have lost an average of 10.6 percent of their weight in one year. Individuals who took a placebo pill only lost 1.7 percent of their weight in the same time period.

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