U.S. FDA Approves Obesity Treatment Pill

Published By : 11 Sep 2014 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

The U.S. FDA today approved a new pill for treating obesity, making it only the third drug for obesity treatment approved by the FDA in more than a decade. 

Contrave, the pill made by Orexigen Therapeutics Inc, is a combination of Orexigen\'s formula of naltrexone, designed for the prevention of drug dependence, and bupropion, an antidepressant. 

Information regarding the pill’s price or its availability in the market has not yet been disclosed by the company. 

Decision regarding approval of the pill was delayed by FDA in June due to concerns about the packaging having adequate warnings. Because the pill contains an antidepressant, it will have a warning message about increased risk of suicidal behavior and thoughts.

The market currently has Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc\'s Belviq and Vivus Inc\'s Qsymia as the only two drugs approved by FDA for obesity treatment; these were approved in 2012. Analysts expect that the new entrant in the market, Contrave, will achieve the leading market position by 2016. 

The two existing treatments were expected to achieve blockbuster status in the market prior to their release. But bungled launches and ineffective marketing strategies led to lukewarm sales. Market potential of the two drugs further declined due to their adverse effects that ranged from heart risks to depression.

Contrave is expected to amass a net worth of nearly $200 million by the end of 2016, which is slightly more than Qsymia\'s estimated market value of $150 million and Beliviq’s $180 million by the same time, according to analysts.

Contrave is slated to enter Europe before the two drugs, and is licensed by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. in North America.
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