The holiday season is over and as usual, many people are feeling motivated to lose weight and live healthier. But for the one-third of Americans struggling with obesity, this struggle just gets harder and harder, especially as we age. For many, a safe and effective weight loss pill would seem like the magic bullet we so desperately need.
As you know, the Network supports women who desire to lose weight and become healthier, but Contrave, a recently approved anti-obesity drug, may actually worsen health outcomes and do more harm than good! Clinical trials demonstrated that Contrave may increase an individual’s blood pressure and heart rate. Contrave may also increase the onset of serious neuropsychiatric events such as depression and anxiety – adverse effects which counteract the potential health benefits weight loss may bring. With such serious consequences, you may be thinking that Contrave has proven effective as an anti-obesity drug but multiple studies have shown it is only minimally effective over a placebo for weight loss!
But that’s not all – in addition to causing serious side effects and being ineffective, looming unresolved safety questions remain with Contrave. Rather than insisting that its sponsors conduct adequate pre-approval safety tests with specific safety endpoints, the FDA has decided to rely on post-market studies to identify serious and potentially life-threatening risks. This ‘wait and see’ game privileges pharmaceutical company profits over women and we’re simply not willing to play around with women’s health.
The Network has long advocated that the FDA enforce more stringent standards for anti-obesity drugs. We have also asked that the FDA and drug manufacturers show that their products offer drug-specific health benefits as research shows drug-assisted weight loss alone does not necessarily improve health outcomes.
Obesity is a major public health concern, and women deserve options that won’t potentially cause harmful effects to their bodies. While your New Year’s resolution may be to lose weight, keep in mind that there are methods available other than ineffective and unsafe anti-obesity drugs!