Jun, 29

Pills - Capitalizing on Laziness

Michael Smith Blog - Know The Cause Yahoo News keeps giving me fodder for blogs. The other day, I posted on the drug Qnexa, that comes with the risk of heart and nerve complications & psychiatric side effects. Today, Yahoo posted this piece, talking about another weight loss drug under review by the FDA 

Lorcaserin, apparently, brings little risk of side effects, sans some headaches and dizziness. 48% of the people taking the drug lost 5% of their body weight (that 5% equaling an average of 13 pounds) as opposed to approximately 20% of people on placebos. In phase 2 of the study, half the people on lorcaserin switched to a dummy pill. Of the people that switched, 50% of the people who had lost the 5% of their body weight kept it off, as opposed to 68% who continued taking the pill who had lost 5% or more of their body weight.

Let me break down what these numbers mean. Let us say that we have 100 people in this study and they all weigh 260 lbs, which will qualify them as obese per their height. Fifty of these people are taking lorcaserin and the other fifty are given a placebo. All are placed on a moderate diet and exercise routine. After one year, 24 people on the drug have lost at least 13 lbs. (meaning of course that 26 have lost less than 13lbs.), as opposed to 10 people on placebos that have lost at least at least 13 lbs.

In phase two of the study, our group that was taking the drug was split in half; half continued to take the drug, and the other half were given a placebo. Within that group, we will say our 13 lbs. or greater group is split evenly (twelve people apiece) between the drugged and the placebo group. Eight people who continued taking the drug managed to keep the 13 lbs off. Six people who switched to a dummy pill managed to keep the 13 lbs. off.

Does anyone else find these results unimpressive? ONLY 8 of 50 people taking our drug managed to drop a mere 5% of their body weight! The headline should read "16% Of People on a Certain Drug Manage to Lose 5% of Their Body Weight in Addition to Dieting." This headline obviously makes the drug seem a little less noteworthy (and it is probably a little too long for most websites).

As a side note, I would like to see what diet and what exercise program the study used. If it was the typical, boring low fat/high carb standard American diet that most drone dietitians recommend, these numbers make sense. I have watched people on Phase 1 lose 20 lbs in the first month. John Miller, producer of KTC has lost over a hundred pounds in a year (compared to the average of 13 lbs. in this study!!!) on Phase 1, and never once have I heard him complain about being hungry.

The noteworthy line in the Yahoo piece is:

"Most people don't stick to diets."

Have drug companies simply decided to start capitalizing on laziness? I've said this before; with the right diet and the right exercise program, weight loss drugs are absolutely unnecessary, especially the ones with unimpressive results like locaserin. Nevertheless, pending FDA approval, this drug will be marketed to dieters everywhere as a "break-through," and will wind up making somebody very wealthy. Just be on the lookout for the recall.