On Thursday, the FDA sent drugmaker Vivus "complete response letter," detailing the shortcomings in the company's application to sell a prescription diet pill called Qnexa.
What were the potential issues with Qnexa? There were claimed risks ranging from birth defects for babies conceived when women were taking the drug to an increased heart rate common among people taking Qnexa.
Even though people taking the highest doses of Qnexa had lost more than 10 percent of their weight a year after starting the medicine, the risks were too high, the a panel of FDA folks concluded.
For me, the area of prescription diet pills, with their history or problems (Fen Phen and Meridia) is a real worry. Diet and exercise is a lifetime commitment. For some people, a pill may be the only or last resort. Losing weight will never be easy for most folks, and to me it is unrealistic to think that a magic pill will be devised to address real weight loss.