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Quick Hits: Weight Loss Drug Linked to Cancer

Clinical trials showed an increased risk of cancer in patients who took an oral medication intended for obese adults.

When the risks associated with a drug outweigh the benefits, it’s time to pull it from the market. According to a recent CNN article, that was the case with Belviq, a prescription weight loss drug from Eisai Co. Last month, the FDA announced it would be reviewing trial results of the drug, also known as lorcaserin, to determine if it’s linked to an increased risk of cancer. Later, the FDA divulged that clinical trials of Belviq increased the risk of a variety of cancers including pancreatic, colorectal, and lung. 

An emailed statement from Eisai said the company will now “voluntarily withdraw from the market and discontinue sales.” However, Eisai noted it has a different interpretation of the trial data and believes the drug has a “positive benefit-risk profile.”

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