ABC News aired a story about Duke University comparing the costs and effectiveness of three diet programs and three weight loss prescription medications. Weight Watchers came out on top with the price of $155 per kilogram lost (2.2 pounds).
“If you are about to embark on a major weight loss attempt, there is more than just the number on the scale to consider. You want to make your money matter,” says ABC News’ senior medical contributor Dr. Jennifer Ashton.
The average annual cost of Weight Watchers was $377, and users lost an average of 5.3 pounds, according to the study. Our resident nutrition expert, Mary Hartley, RD, comments that as diet plans go, “Weight Watchers is good for providing peer support, basic nutrition education, and flexibility to individualize food selections.” Though she warns that it is still a “diet” with the external focus of translating food into other quantifiable values.
This means people have two different mentalities of what they can eat when they are either “on the diet” or “off the diet,” and Hartley is “never impressed by weight loss that is only to be regained.” (more…)
News of a new weight loss drug called Adipotide surfaced early last year, but there haven’t been many updates since July regarding the status of the drug’s development. As reports suggest, Adipotide is still in trial phase being tested in clinical studies on humans. If approved, it would join Qsymia, Belviq and several others in the ‘miracle’ weight loss prescription drug line-up.
Adipotide was created by Dr. Wadih Arap and Renata Pasqualini as a form of cancer treatment as it was designed to starve cancer cells of blood supply prohibit them from growing. However, the effects of Adipotide have actually shown it starves fat cells of blood, which forces them to die and be reabsorbed into the body.
Though successful initial trials have been completed on rats and monkeys, some negative side effects have been noted, including dehydration and small kidney lesions that left untreated could lead to kidney failure.
Diets in Review resident pharmacist Dr. Sarah G Khan reports that Adipotide will be marketed as an injection into the subcutaneous layer of the skin, administered directly into the fat. While this may seem more effective, she believes this could be a potential downside as this method is not as user friendly. (more…)
The new weight loss pill Qsymia may have started off with slow sales, but it has started to see those numbers rise. Prescriptions filled for the recently approved weight loss drug have climbed to about 2,000 prescriptions per week.
Qsymia was the first weight loss drug approved by the FDA in 13 years when it got the OK this summer. It was approved for adults with a BMI of 30 or more – categorizing them as obese – and for those with a BMI of 27 or more who have been diagnosed with at least one obesity-related illness, such as high cholesterol or type 2 diabetes. The pill, which went on sale this past September, was made to suppress the appetite and cause weight loss – as much as 10 percent body fat – for obese individuals. It’s combined with phentermine and topiramate, which are two different drugs made to suppress the appetite and give more of a full feeling in the stomach. Qsymia is prescribed to be combined with regular exercise and a healthy, calorie reduced diet. Whether it’s a miracle drug or a disaster varies from person to person. (more…)
Many of us will never live to see a true miracle. Dr. Oz apparently found six this year alone!
Dr. Oz had another banner year on his talk show as he brought the latest and greatest health news to our living rooms each afternoon. The only rub is that some of us are questioning the good doctor and what he’s calling healthy advice these days. It seems Dr. Oz may have become more of a talk show host than a well-intentioned physician. This year, especially, the show constantly doled out miracle diet advice. While weight loss is at the top of our health concerns, it seemed the doctor derailed from prescribing trustworthy weight loss guidance to endorsements for every fad that would ultimately yield no life change, just money spent and potential side-effects.
These are the miracle diet cures (his words, not ours) that Dr. Oz unleashed on us this year. It might be more accurate to call them scams.
These little supplements were touted as a revolutionary metabolism booster and the compounds, typically used as food flavorings, have been purposed for weight loss supplements in Japan. Dr. Oz endorsed raspberry ketones as an effective weight loss tool as well. The theory behind the ketones is that that they alter lipid metabolism, claims found from a study in mice. The mouse with the high fat diet and the supplement gained less body fat than expected. Raspberry ketones have not yet been tested on humans. (more…)
Vivus Inc. has released a diet pill called Qsymia – one of only two diet pills (the other being Belviq) to be released in the last 13 years. Vivus applied intense pressure on the FDA earlier this year to approve the obesity-targeted drug for for the two-thirds of Americans who have a body fat percentage high enough make them obese.
The problem? Qsymia shares were down 24 percent on Tuesday. Since their launch mid-September, they’ve only seen $41,000 in sales. Analysts were expecting around $310,000 by this point.
Vivus Inc. Chief Commercial Officer Mike Miller stated his concern over the pill’s insurance coverage.
“About 30 percent of patients chose not to fill after receiving a [Qsymia] prescription due to cash outlay,” he said. “The average retail price for the patient for 30 days or the recommended dose is approximately $160. Currently, we’re seeing one out of five [patients] being covered by third-party insurance with an average co-pay of $62.” (more…)