It is a very good thing that the advisory panel for the FDA voted (10-6) against approving Qnexa, a new weight loss drug. I just don’t understand why the vote wasn’t 10-0. Even worse, the vote is simply a suggestion. The FDA could go ahead and approve the drug anyway.
Also surprising is that the panel says Qnexa works better than “any approved weight loss drug”. Really? Here’s what Qnexa does – you lose 6% to 10% of your body weight – IF YOU ALSO UNDERGO A PROGRAM OF DIET AND EXERCISE. WTF.
Isn’t a 6% to 10% weight loss be what you would expect from dieting and exercise alone?
What in the world do these other “approved weight loss drug[s]” accomplish if they can’t match the obviously underwhelming claims for Qnexa?
Qnexa is a blend of phentermine (the phen in phen-fen) and topiramate (a drug developed to treat epilepsy). Topiramate is linked to attention and memory problems, depression and suicidal thoughts and has caused birth defects in lab animals. Qnexa may also cause a condition called metabolic acidosis that speeds bone loss and increases the risk of kidney stones.
Dr. Sidney Wolfe, MD (health director for the consumer group Public Citizen) explained, “This is not a new therapy. It is just a repackaging of old ones that have significant dangers.”
So it doesn’t really do much and it’s dangerous.
I know, let’s give it to the fatties! They’ll try anything.