FDA considers drug that lowers blood pressure, cholesterol and weight

(NBC) - We've always been taught there's no such thing as a quick fix for obesity, but that may soon change.

Peter Tam is the president of Mountain View-based Vivus, a Silicon Valley biotech company with what could be the next blockbuster drug.

"We believe we have the first product that actually treats the cause of these diseases," he said.

Called "Qnexa," it's a once daily pill to fight high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity.

"So far, all the treatments that are available right now are able to achieve 3% to 5% of weight loss," said Tam. "We are the first treatment that is capable of achieving 10% to 15%weight loss within one year."

It's a big claim that got mixed results on the street: "While there are people that really need medical help to lose weight, most of us just need to exercise more."

Also -- "If somebody is in dire need of a fix that's one thing. But for most people that's not the case."

Qnexa still needs final FDA approval before it can be sold. Vivus says it expects to hear by October. With an estimated $150 billion a year spent to fight obesity, a pill like Qnexa could make a huge difference.

"It's really about making the patient better, feeling better about himself, living a better life, free of these weight-related diseases, that's what drives us to work hard 24/7, pretty much over the past year," said Tam.

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