Sunday, July 1, 2012

The FDA Summons Captain Obvious

The Food and Drug Administration has approved its first weight loss drug in 13 years.  The pill is lorcaserin, which will be sold under the name "Belviq."

I think diet pills are a total disaster because they have a terrible track record.  They don't work and if they do, they have horrible side effects and get pulled off the market.

But what caught my eye was this quote from an FDA official:

"Obesity threatens the overall well being of patients and is a major public health concern," Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a written statement. "The approval of this drug, used responsibly in combination with a healthy diet and lifestyle, provides a treatment option for Americans who are obese or are overweight and have at least one weight-related comorbid condition."

Really?  So let me get this straight.  If I take this drug, eat right and exercise, I'll lose weight?  WOW! That's freakin' awesome!  Where do I sign up?  Calling Captain Obvious.....

So what's really going on here?  It's this simple: drug companies are for-profit businesses designed to generate value for their shareholders.  A diet pill is huge business.  People are so desperate to lose weight, they will fall for just about anything.  This is just the pharmaceutical wing of the weight loss industry, but the following rules still apply:

1.) You won't lose weight and if you do, you will gain it all back
2.) Your money and your hope will be stolen
3.) The only way to lose weight and keep it off forever is to do the (very) hard work of diet and exercise
4.) The people selling this drug are selling nonsense.  But people will buy it because there is a sucker born every day.

Don't be a sucker.  Have a bowl of oatmeal and take a walk.  There's your weight loss pill.


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