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Product launch

Belviq launched in the US

Only available on prescription

Weight-loss drug Belviq has been launched in the US and will be eligible to patients by prescription. Approved by the FDA in June 2012, it is to be used along with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adults who have a BMI 30 or 27 with at least one weight-related medical condition. Belviq will be available in US pharmacies only with a prescription.

"Belviq is a new treatment option for the medical management of patients who are obese and who have not been able to sustain long-term weight loss by altering their diets or increasing exercise alone," said Lonnel Coats, President and Chief Executive Officer, Eisai Inc. "Eisai is committed to making Belviq available to appropriate patients as part of our human health care corporate mission of keeping patients' medical needs at the forefront of all that we do."

Eisai will market and distribute Belviq in the USA and Arena Pharmaceuticals will manufacture and supply the finished commercial product from its facility in Switzerland.

"Belviq provides appropriate patients with a new treatment option that along with diet and exercise can help them lose weight and keep the weight off," said Dr Ken Fujioka, Director of the Center for Weight Management at the Scripps Clinic. "Obesity needs to be recognised and treated as a chronic disease. The availability of Belviq is a significant milestone in the medical management of overweight and obesity as we work to slow this epidemic in the US."

Belviq is believed to decrease food consumption and promote satiety by selectively activating serotonin 2C receptors in the brain, although the exact mechanism of action of Belviq is not known.

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