Those looking to lose weight could soon have some more options, with two new weight-loss drugs set to hit the market.
For the first time in 13 years, the Food & Drug Administration has approved two weight loss drugs, Qsymia and Belviq. Critics argue that obese people should simply watch their diet and exercise more, but many physicians believe physical things are happening inside the brain that cause some folks to overeat and gain weight, and that these drugs will help. Belviq, a weight-loss drug from Arena Pharmaceuticals, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2012. Originally published on January 8, 2015 7:07 am In December, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new obesity drug, Saxenda, the fourth prescription medicine the agency has given the green light to fight obesity since 2012.
During times of acute stress, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis may become overstimulated and need help to maintain balance. Phosphatidylserine is known for its ability to modulate cortisol production during HPA axis loading and is a precursor to important neuron metabolites. With the agency's approval of Saxenda in December, there are four new weight-loss pills available.
But even though two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, there's a good chance their insurer won't cover Saxenda or other anti-obesity drugs.


Production of cortisol and other stress hormones is typical for individuals with HPA axis overload. L-Theanine, an amino acid found naturally in green tea, is able to act as a calming agent, reducing the perception of stress and supporting healthy cortisol levels to maintain healthy immune status. The health benefits of using obesity drugs to lose weight — improvements in blood sugar and risk factors for heart disease, among other things — may not be immediately apparent. AdreneVive is formulated to help respond to HPA axis loading, build stress resilience and maintain healthy HPA axis function.
It combines three popular adaptogenic herbs (siberian ginseng, rhodiola and ashwagandha) and also includes an extract of Scutellaria baicalensis which has been shown to support the immune system during times of stress. Steve Miller, the chief medical officer at Express Scripts, which manages the prescription drug benefits for thousands of companies. Miller estimates that about a third of companies don't cover obesity drugs at all, a third cover all FDA-approved weight-loss drugs, and a third cover approved drugs, but with restrictions to limit their use.
Part of the reluctance by Medicare and private insurers to cover weight-loss drugs stems from serious safety problems with diet drugs in the past, including the withdrawal in 1997 of fenfluramine, part of the fen-phen diet drug combination that was found to damage heart valves.
But as the link between obesity and increased risk for Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other serious medical problems has become clearer, prescription drugs are seen as having a role to play in addressing the obesity epidemic.


Obesity accounts for 21 percent of annual medical costs in the United States, or $190 billion, according to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Health Economics. The recently approved drugs— Belviq, Qsymia, Contrave and Saxenda—work by suppressing appetite, among other things.
In conjunction with diet and exercise, people typically lose between 5 and 10 percent of their body weight, research shows, modest weight loss but sufficient to meaningfully improve health. The drugs are generally recommended for people with a body mass index of 30 or higher, the threshold for obesity. They may also be appropriate for overweight people with BMIs in the high 20s if they have heart disease, diabetes or other conditions. Susan Pisano, a spokesperson for America's Health Insurance Plans, a trade group, says the variability of insurer coverage of obesity drugs "relates to issues of evidence of effectiveness and evidence of safety." Dr.
Caroline Apovian, director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Research Center at Boston University, says many of the patients she treats can't afford to pay up to $200 a month out of pocket for obesity drugs.



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