Monday, December 17, 2012

The Future Looks Bright for Qsymia and Belviq

Last month we said that the obesity drugs, Qsymia, made by Vivus, and Belviq, made by Arena,  recently received a lot of attention from those interested in weight loss drugs. We went on to say that while Belviq is not yet on the market, Qsymia has gotten off to a slow start, giving disappointing market results. But we indicated that Qsymia's market results would likely improve if Qsymia's benefits are found to outweigh its risks. We now believe that recent actions taken by the U.S. Government and by  health care industry leaders signal that these stakeholders believe that the drug's benefits do outweigh its risks. Therefore, we believe that both Qsymia and Belviq will likely experience bright futures.

CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services), the organization responsible for Medicare and Medicaid, has declared that  it "will begin reimbursing primary care physicians and other qualified practitioners for administering face-to-face behavioral counseling to patients with a body mass index of 30 or more."

The  Affordable Care Act (The 2010 U.S. Health Care law) directs insurers (via U.S Preventive Services Task Force) to cover preventive measures and  intensive counseling for obesity, with no copay or co-insurance payments by the patient. The CMS action and the Health Care Law directive illuminate the importance the U.S government attaches to the treatment of obesity.

Aetna, the third largest health insurer, indicated on its website that "Among the medications that have been approved by the FDA for weight reduction which would be covered under its policy" are Qsymia and Belviq.  And Mayo Clinic reports on its website that Qsymia and Belviq are ‘prescription weight-loss medications your doctor may prescribe.’"

The actions at the federal level and those within the health care industry should give a boost to the future prospects of Qsymia and Belviq. In addition to the above mentioned actions, Vivus, the maker of Qsymia, is trying to accelerate Qsymia's future prospects. In a program called "Get Started!" Vivus is offering Qsymia "to qualified consumers on a free [14 day] trial basis."

So, there has been positive market movement with respect to Qsymia and Belviq. And that bodes well for the future of Qsymia, Belviq and possibly other obesity drugs. This positive movement will likely motivate medical weight loss providers to prescribe weight loss drugs as part of a patient's weight loss treatment.

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