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Vivus launches obesity drug


MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Drug maker Vivus has released what it called the first new drug in 13 years for chronic weight management in adults.

The company announced the availability of Qsymia (phentermine and topiramate) extended-release capsules, which it is formally introducing to medical professionals this week at the Obesity Society's annual scientific meeting in San Antonio.

"Vivus is proud to be leading the way in the treatment of obesity, a disease with very serious health consequences," Vivus president Peter Tam said. "Qsymia is the first ever combination treatment made available, and today's introduction marks a new beginning for many patients who struggle with obesity."

The drug, which is classified as a schedule IV controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration, has a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy, or REMS. In addition to a medication guide, healthcare provider training, patient brochure and other educational materials, the drug is only available through certified mail-order pharmacies that are part of the Qsymia Home Delivery Network, including CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens.

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