An advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday urged approval of a new obesity drug, Qnexa, after warning against its approval in 2010 due to safety concerns.
The panel voted 20-2 that the FDA should allow Qnexa on the market, saying the latest overall benefit-risk assessment supported its approval.
The drug, made by California-based biotech firm Vivus, is the first obesity drug submitted to the FDA in more than a decade.
Qnexa combines two existing drugs, the appetite suppressant phentermine and topiramate, an anti-convulsant that can be used in conjunction with other drugs for weight loss.
The FDA does not have to follow the advice of the advisory panel, though it usually does. A final decision is expected by April 17.
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