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New Weight-Loss Drugs Could Well Be America's Next Health Care Disaster

The checkered history of weight-loss drugs explains why the FDA has not approved a new diet drug in 13 years -- despite the 200 million Americans who might use such a drug.

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In fact, testimony about Qsymia in 2010, when it was first considered, confirmed the problem. Erin Aycock, an obesity patient who spoke during the open-microphone portion of FDA hearings, told the advisory committee that Qsymia was "like instant willpower," and that she "had the ability for the first time in my life to say 'I don't even care if I eat that cookie.'" But that was the good news. Aycock also added that 90 percent of the weight she had lost on Qsymia quickly returned when she quit the drug.

Martha Rosenberg is an investigative health reporter and the author of "Born With a Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health (Random House)."

 
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