Pharmaceutical interventions for obesity: a public health perspective.
The prevalence of obesity, a major risk factor for many chronic diseases, has risen in most developed countries over the past several decades. The economic burden for both public and private health care systems is substantial. Although certain non-pharmaceutical interventions have been proven efficacious in specific populations, the lack of scalability has caused many of these programmes to fail in sustainably decreasing the percent of patients who are overweight or obese. The benefits of other interventions, such as pharmaceutical agents, medical devices and surgery, should therefore be carefully considered: this article focuses on the first of these strategies. Various pharmaceutical products have been plagued with safety concerns or patient non-adherence because of unpleasant side effects. Therefore, the need for additional antiobesity drugs that are both safe and effective is considerable. This article discusses the regulatory landscape for the development of new antiobesity compounds in the United States and Europe and considers the ramifications of greater or lesser regulatory burdens.
Caveney, E; Caveney, BJ; Somaratne, R; Turner, JR; Gourgiotis, L
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