We thought you might be interested a sneak-peek at a new article we will be posting on several obesity-related sites. Let us know what you think:
There was a presentation on the history of obesity drugs at The Obesity Society’s annual meeting. The Obesity Society is a national scientific society, dedicated to advancing research on the causes and treatment of obesity. The national meeting includes researchers and experts from around the world. In coverage of the presentation about the history of obesity drugs session, Dr. Gregory Walton was asked to share his thoughts.
The presentation outlined methods used to treat obesity from the 17th century to today, beginning with the earliest recorded treatments for obesity – including bleedings and recommendations such as ‘violent exercise ’ and drinking vinegar to dissolve fat. Centuries later, several weight loss drugs were developed from the 1930’s through World War II and beyond, however, they had too many negative side effects. Many may remember the drug Fen-Phen, which had record-breaking sales in the 1990’s, but was soon after recalled by the FDA due to its association with heart valve problems. Since the late 1990’s, many attempts at creating a safe and effective obesity drug have been made, but only two drugs are approved for the treatment of obesity today.
In Dr. Walton’s comments, he explained that it is challenging to get obesity drugs approved by the FDA. He said “for a drug to be more than marginally successful against obesity it will need to be multivalent – that is, it will need to attack several pathways simultaneously. Without dramatic effects, the FDA will apparently be reluctant to approve pharmacologic agents.” Dr. Mark Fusco agreed with Dr. Walton, saying that “the agents need to demonstrate a significant safety profile to win approval from governmental agencies that are increasingly risk averse.” As of now, there has been very little success in the treatment of obesity with drugs. You can read more extensive coverage of the session, and more of Dr Walton’s comments, here.