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New Weight Loss Drug Belviq Finally Available in U.S.

A review the by Drug Enforcement Administration delayed it


pillsAmericans battling obesity will soon have access to a new medication that can help them lose weight.

This week, Eisai (ESALY) will begin selling Arena Pharmaceutical‘s (ARNA) anti-obesity treatment Belviq in the U.S. Though the drug received Food and Drug Administration clearance last year, its introduction was delayed by additional regulatory hurdles, PharmaTimes notes.

New Obesity Drug Could Launch in U.S. Before 2015
New Obesity Drug Could Launch in U.S. Before 2015

Arena will receive $65 million from Eisai now that the drug has reached the market and could receive $1.19 billion in additional payments, depending on sales.

After its approval, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration spent months reviewing the potential for users to abuse it. The drug was ultimate placed on the Controlled Substance Act’s Schedule IV. That indicates that it has a low risk of abuse.

Qsymia, a rival weight-loss drug from Vivus (VVUS), hit the market last year, but has seen relatively low sales.

Belviq is designed for adults who have a body mass index (BMI) higher than 30, or who have hypertension, high cholesterol or type 2 diabetes and a BMI of 27 or more.  It was originally rejected by the FDA in 2010.

Shares of Arena rose almost 2% in Monday midday trading.

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