Experts on a Food and Drug Administration panel voted in favor of allowing the use of a type 2 diabetes medication as treatment for chronic obesity. The panel voted 14-1 after receiving testimony from numerous professionals, one of which, Dr. Donna Ryan of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, described obesity as a chronic condition no different from diabetes or hypertension.
The medication in question, called liraglutide or Sandexa, is the third obesity drug approved by the FDA panel. While the drug has been shown to significantly affect weight loss, even proponents of the drugs approval are concerned of the health risks the drug may cause. The study presented to the panel showed that 6.3% of liraglutide users experienced “serious adverse events” compared to only 4.6% of those on placebos. Concerns for the drug presented by the manufacturer included gallbladder complications, pancreatitis, and a potential increase in the chances of developing breast and thyroid cancer.
Despite the risks patients and experts are highly in favor of the drugs approval. Chief of the endocrinology at Washington Hospital Center, Dr. Kenneth Burman, called the approval a relatively easy decision.
“It’s really important that we maintain focus on the overarching goal. We absolutely need more options as adjuncts … to our treatments of obesity — genetic, emotional, environmental, physical, behavioral,”
Consumers should be warned not run to their doctors for a prescription quite yet. Though recommend by the FDA panel, the medication must still be approved by the Administration and could very well be denied.
Read More – Advisory Committee Recommends Approval of Liraglutide for Chronic Weight Management (Healio Endocrine Today)