Five years after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the
popular weight-loss drug fenfluramine after reports of heart-valve problems,
three prescription weight-loss drugs remain on the US market. Just two are
approved for long-term use. Phentermine, the first half of the infamous "Phen-Fen"
combination, is still approved for short-term use.
In a nation of 60 million obese adults, the drug industry should be
hungry to treat the condition. Yet, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers
of America (PhRMA) lists only 11 new antiobesity drugs in clinical trials.
Vastag B. Experimental Drugs Take Aim at Obesity. JAMA. 2003;289(14):1763-1764. doi:10.1001/jama.289.14.1763