Food and Drug Administration advisers voted on Thursday to recommend a new prescription weight-loss pill, despite concerns over cardiac risks, AP reports.
The panel voted 18-4 to recommend approval of lorcaserin, developed by Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. They concluded that its benefits “outweigh the potential risks when used long term” in overweight and obese people.
It's the second controversial diet pill to get the nod from FDA advisers.
Earlier this year, rival Vivus Inc. won a surprising endorsement from an FDA panel for its diet drug, Qnexa. Orexigen Therapeutics Inc., has a third diet drug in the running.
While patients and doctors are eager for new options to fight obesity, none of these drugs enable patients to magically shed pounds.
People who took lorcaserin had modest weight loss, on average losing just 3.1 percent of their body weight over a year. Those taking Qnexa lost 11 percent on average.