The FDA recently issued a request for the manufacturer of the weight loss drug Belviq and Belviq XR (Lorcaserin) to be voluntarily pulled from the market after a safety clinical trial showed increased occurrences of cancer. In January of this year, the FDA announced that they would be reviewing the drug, as they had some concerns about a possible cancer risk. After completing this review, they have decided that the risks of Belviq outweigh the benefits for consumers, therefore asking that the manufacturing company pull it from the market.
The manufacturing company for the drug, Eisai Inc. voluntarily took the drug off of the market after the FDA’s request, but disagrees with their judgment of the risks and benefits. Eisai Inc. argues that Belviq and Belviq XR have a positive risk profile, meaning the benefits outweigh the risks.
What is Belviq?
Belviq, or Lorcaserin, is a weight loss drug that was approved in 2012. It is intended to be an option for people dealing with excess weight or obesity and the health issues that these problems can cause. It proved to help people lose weight and keep it off without raising the risk of heart problems in patients. It works specifically for patients who have conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or Type 2 Diabetes.
What does this Mean for Consumers?
The FDA says that patients should stop taking Lorcaserin and speak to their doctors about finding another weight loss medicine that could work for them. Doctors have been told to notify their patients to stop taking the drug. It is recommended that patients dispose of their remaining pills at a drug take-back location near them, or by mixing them with an unappealing substance, placing that in a container, and throwing them away in the trash. When doing so, be sure to remove any identifying information from the container.
There is no recommendation from the FDA about additional or special screening for patients who have taken Lorcaserin, as the risk was only seen with long-term use of the drug. The FDA says that patients should continue with screenings along the standards they would normally follow with their doctor.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Could Help
If you or someone you love has taken Belviq for an extended period of time and has developed cancer, contact a personal injury attorney to see if you are entitled to compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney could help you d choose the best path forward.