DEA is the Last Hurdle for Belviq®

October 19, 2012 — An article in today’s Financial Times pointed out that though Lorcaserin (to be marketed as Belviq) is expected to receive Schedule IV status from the US Drug Enforcement Agency or DEA (the FDA recommended Schedule IV, and the DEA tends to follow the direction of the FDA), experts and healthcare advocates don’t believe this status, which is one level above the lowest rating for abuse potential, will have much of an impact on prescribing.

It’s “not a big deal,” says Dr. Donna Ryan, Executive Director for Clinical Research at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. “Just another line to fill out on the prescription.” Ryan noted the Schedule IV status has nothing to do with abuse or dependence, but because the FDA wants obesity agents to be used responsibly and not for trivial reasons. According to obesity expert Ted Kyle, “The difference between Schedule IV an Schedule V is negligible. Some codeine cough syrups are Schedule V, but can be handed out without a prescription so long as the pharmacist collects a signature.” Belviq is expected to receive final word from the DEA in the next few months and is expected to launch in Q1 2013.

You can read the full Financial Times story here.