Given the obesity epidemic, patients and physicians are in need of safe and effective treatments. Companies are responding with significant investment in drug development. Drugs provide an important therapeutic option when lifestyle modifications are insufficient for achieving weight loss goals and when surgery is not desired or warranted. However, in the last decade, 3 obesity drugs were removed from the US market, and until last month, only 1 new obesity drug has been approved since 1999. How is it possible to make sense of this curious duality of circumstances?
Morrato EH, Allison DB. FDA Approval of Obesity DrugsA Difference in Risk-Benefit Perceptions. JAMA. 2012;308(11):1097–1098. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.10007