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Editor's Correspondence
May 13, 2002

Are There Benefits From Long-term Pharmacotherapy of Obesity?

Arch Intern Med. 2002;162(9):1070. doi:

I studied the review of pharmacotherapy for obesity by Glazer1 in the August 13/27, 2001, issue of the ARCHIVES. The author defined efficacy using the surrogate of weight loss rather than looking at clinical outcome measures. The review based its conclusion on the principle that if you define your standards low enough, you can be successful at anything. A weight loss of 17 lb (7.6 kg) in excess of placebo is the evidence-based support of long-term obesity pharmacotherapy. This conclusion seems unwarranted since no tangible outcome benefit has been demonstrated.1 Not only does the practitioner reject this as a successful therapy, but patients also regard these modest benefits as disappointing.2

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