FDA Advisory Panel Votes to Approve New Obesity Drug

In an 18-4 decision with one abstention, a panel of experts voted to approve the first new obesity drug in over a decade. Lorcaserin, made by Arena Pharmaceuticals, was voted down when it came before the FDA in 2010 because of certain safety risks and a feeling the drug was not effective enough in helping people lose weight. This time, Arena brought additional safety data that seemed to satisfy the panel’s concerns. In addition, a number of experts on the panel voiced the opinion that additional options are needed to treat the growing problem of obesity.

The agency doesn’t have to follow the panel’s recommendations, but it usually does. You can read the full story in the New York Times here.