Weight loss drug Belviq gets overdue US launch

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Arena Pharmaceuticals says its weight loss drug Belviq will be available to U.S. patients beginning next week, nearly a year after the drug was officially approved by federal regulators.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Belviq last June for adults who are obese and have at least one medical complication. At the time, Belviq was the first new drug approved by the FDA for long-term weight loss in more than a decade.

The drug's launch was delayed for months by logistical hurdles, including classification by the Drug Enforcement Administration. According to the drug's label, Belviq will be classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance, which means it has a low potential for abuse.

Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s partner, Eisai Co., says the drug will be available beginning Tuesday.

 

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