PORTLAND - A Portland Doctor who helps patients shed hundreds of pounds welcomes a new weight-loss drug.
“We don’t have enough tools to help us with weight management,” says Legacy Good Samaritan surgeon Dr. Valerie Halpin.
The drug Belviq was approved by the FDA this month. It’s the first prescription drug aimed at weight-loss to win approval in 13 years.
“It works on the part of the brain that controls whether or not you feel satisfied,” explains Dr. Halpin. When it works, patients feel full sooner so they consume fewer calories.
While Halpin welcomes the new weight loss drug, she does point out the patients studied shed an average of 10 to 12 pounds in a year.
“If you’re 100-200 pounds overweight, that would not be enough to significantly affect your health problems.”
Halpin plans to prescribe Belivq once it becomes available in early 2013. She says the typical patient would be 40 to 50 pounds overweight and might be developing diabetes or high blood pressure.
Belviq would be used in conjunction with lifestyle counseling and in some cases weight loss surgery at the Legacy Good Samaritan Weight Management Institute.
“A key is you still have to do diet and exercise to have good weight management,” concludes Dr. Halpin.