A rarity in the weight wars: An FDA advisory panel gave the green light today to a diet pill that could become the first such drug to hit the market in more than a decade. The FDA is expected to make a final decision next month on Contrave, though it generally follows the advice of its panels. Made by Orexigen Therapeutics—whose shares were soaring, notes Bloomberg—Contrave has what MedPage Today describes has "modest" weight-loss effects.
Panel members thought the benefit outweighed potential side effects such as high blood pressure. Contrave is a combination of two drugs already on the market: bupropion, an antidepressant also used to quit smoking, and naltrexone, which is used to treat addictions to alcohol and painkillers. One pharmacy professor tells MedPage Today he's sure it will be a huge success initially. "Time will ultimately tell if it is a good drug or not," he adds. "In the meantime, I'm going to let somebody else be the first to take it."