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AMA Classifies Obesity as a "Disease;" Obesity Drugs Now Could be Covered

  +Follow June 20, 2013 2:51PM
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BurgerOn Wednesday, the American Medical Association (AMA) officially declared obesity to be a disease. The AMA currently defines obesity as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 30. At previous points, the AMA had referred to obesity as a “major health concern,” a “complex disorder,” and an “urgent chronic condition.” But moving obesity classification of “disease” will have several implications. Notably, if obesity is no longer considered merely a lifestyle choice in need of tweaking, insurance companies could be required to cover the cost of weight loss drugs. According to Vivus, approximately 30 percent of insurers cover its obesity drugs. Some providers such as Aetna (AET) and Blue Shield do include coverage for weight loss drugs, but this new definition could cause that number to rise significantly.

This is news that could affect pharamceutical companies such as Arena and Vivus significantly.

Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ARNA)

This San Diego-based biopharmaceutical company could be a major beneficiary of the ADA’s declaration. On June 27,2012 the FDA approved the obesity-reduction drug lorcaserin, which will be marketed by Arena under the name Belviq. Belviq stimulates serotonin so patients feel satiated, and thus more full after meals.

Arena announced last week that after a few delays, they’d finally be rolling out Belviq. Since obesity is now considered a disease, Belviq could be covered under most insurance plans that currently force patients to pay out of pocket for obesity-reduction drugs. Belviq was specifically approved for patients with a BMI over 30, or people with a BMI over 27 who suffer from at least one obesity-related condition like high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, or high cholesterol, which fits neatly into the AMA’s new parameters for defining obesity.

Arena suffered a setback earlier this year when they withdrew the European Union application for Belviq. Their stock opened the day at $7.60 a share on moderate trading, and is down nearly two percent on the day. Their next earnings report is August 7.

Vivus, Inc. (VVUS)

Mountain, California based Vivus beat Arena to the punch in the obesity pharmaceutical battle, rolling out their own drug Qsymia last September. And Qysmia, a combination of phentermine and topiramate, has been shown to produce weight loss more effectively than Belviq. Qysmia is currently also approved by the FDA for patients with a BMI over 30, or over 27 with blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, or high cholesterol.

Qysmia though, has faced sluggish sales despite outperforming Belviq on weight loss effectiveness. Analysts have speculated this might be due to Qysmia’s side effects, which include drowsiness, increased heart rate, and increased chance of birth defects for pregnant women. Belviq has a relatively clean safety profile in comparison.
Vivus opened the day at $14.15 a share and is seeing above-average volume. This is well down from Vivus’ high posted on July 18, 2012 of $31.21 a share. Their next earnings report is August 5.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions.


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Results for ARNA
Stocks News&Markets
1 Oct 14 04:39:33
lx21 made $42,230 on $ARNA -Check it out! http://t.co/mEkFd87mTN Learn #howtotrade http://t.co/axK8SMSgo9 $FB $SPY $stocks
ZOZO
1 Oct 14 03:40:11
Obesity conference coming up in Boston (Nov 2-7). http://t.co/HvPmfFyLSn $JNJ $COV $VVUS $ARNA
Stockaholics
1 Oct 14 01:43:56
New, SECRET penny stock alert coming today! Check it out: http://t.co/A2y8IBJKSf $TECD $ARNA $AET
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30 Sep 14 19:25:05
FPFI closed up 250% today! Huge Update and new pick coming: http://t.co/wSPWepHL5n $TECD $ARNA $AET
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30 Sep 14 19:10:59
@adamfeuerstein @bnichols9883 This is the pot calling the kettle black $GALE $PCYC $SRPT $ICPT $ARNA $OMED $REGN $CELG $CPRX
Stockaholics
30 Sep 14 15:28:49
FPFI closed up 250% today! Huge Update and new pick coming: http://t.co/wSPWepHL5n $TECD $ARNA $AET
ShortStockVolume.com
30 Sep 14 14:32:30
Top Shorted Stocks 09/30/14... 20. $LPX 73.00% 21. $XLV 71.87% 22. $MDT 71.70% 23. $SPY 71.42% 24. $ARNA 70.79% 25. $SRC 69.18%
ShortStockVolume.com
30 Sep 14 14:32:28
Top Shorted Stocks 09/30/14... 22. $MDT 71.70% 23. $SPY 71.42% 24. $ARNA 70.79%... http://t.co/QKA7PU5d6n
InsiderTradingWire
30 Sep 14 13:45:40
$ARNA | Arena Pharmaceuti is down 28% since we reported $1,308,582 of insider selling on 07/03/2014. Did you ... - http://t.co/dArgkwhzfR
Shas'el
30 Sep 14 13:11:34
$ARNA AAN Warns Against Opioids in Chronic Noncancer Pain http://t.co/ItxCjkffUu
biogemfinder
30 Sep 14 12:58:29
$ARNA wed or thrsdays R the days when Arena pps make a significant move. It may be to the upside this time...significant data/PR due by EOY
Avida Capital
30 Sep 14 12:09:39
$MNKD they also said obesity pills $ARNA and $VVUS were blockbusters ($OREX). Hopefully people hedged this in 11 when we tried convincing
US_proptrader
30 Sep 14 11:30:42
$AMAG $ARNA $GOL $HIMX $HZNP $INFA $PE autocharts @ http://t.co/cLiki48C5r
TARCISIO
30 Sep 14 07:36:27
Eu estou $empre procura $arna pra me coçar...
biogemfinder
30 Sep 14 07:36:21
$ARNA theres no trading going on between HFs, its just our imagination! Theres no manipulation of pps at all..and Adam F is not involved!!
biogemfinder
30 Sep 14 07:32:53
$ARNA if you monitor the trades its blocks of 100 shrs most of the time! Whenever there is larger bids, pps jumps for those trades! Get it?
biogemfinder
30 Sep 14 07:09:01
$ARNA shorts in control as usual they didnt want this to go any higher than the critical $4.25 very typical of course theres no manipulation
biogemfinder
30 Sep 14 06:57:51
$ARNA shorts keep shorting at these levels. its a very good idea because there R no catalysts coming up wink..wink!! Canada brazil mexico
1 TRADER
30 Sep 14 06:18:14
$ARNA continuation
Will T.
30 Sep 14 06:05:04
@lx21 $ARNA looks long. agree?
Stockaholics
30 Sep 14 03:02:12
$VOIS gained 218.52% in less than 3 weeks, after our Penny Stock Alerts! Major Update: http://t.co/HglCNdSVSO $TECD $ARNA $AET
Stocks News&Markets
30 Sep 14 02:18:48
lx21 made $39,150 on $ARNA -Check it out! http://t.co/ZWh5BCCwWK Learn #howtotrade http://t.co/axK8SMSgo9 $FB $SPY $stocks
explodeprofits
30 Sep 14 01:35:24
Dollar$OnPennies: $ARNA Weekly http://t.co/ODrq4bMnyF
explodeprofits
30 Sep 14 01:35:24
Dollar$OnPennies: $ARNA Daily http://t.co/rhXhUiY5Lu
Stockaholics
29 Sep 14 23:18:38
$VOIS gained 218.52% in less than 3 weeks, after our Penny Stock Alerts! Major Update: http://t.co/HglCNdSVSO $TECD $ARNA $AET
Vincent
29 Sep 14 19:27:58
Trdes from today(Sep-29-2014): $OMED $CPRX $AEZS $SGEN $F $EXEL $ARNA $PCYC http://t.co/6vsAwQBUBa
RC
29 Sep 14 19:17:54
Monday Night Charts | http://t.co/Yg7tbsMuOx $MBLY $NQ $ARNA $FANG $YUM $ETR $IFON $CRZO $NEON $EMES $UNIS $XONE
carl s
29 Sep 14 19:01:32
RT @StockConsultant: $ARNA bottom breakout watch above 4.29, details http://t.co/QQPr3pIs0g http://t.co/boAY1BdMzr
StockConsultant.com
29 Sep 14 18:21:13
$ARNA bottom breakout watch above 4.29, details http://t.co/QQPr3pIs0g http://t.co/boAY1BdMzr
Stockaholics
29 Sep 14 16:01:59
$VOIS gained 218.52% in less than 3 weeks, after our Penny Stock Alerts! Major Update: http://t.co/HglCNdSVSO $TECD $ARNA $AET
carl s
29 Sep 14 14:27:43
Good day for $ARNA. Start of recovery and additional short covering, IMO. Fourth quarter catalysts of smoking cessation and Phen combo.
Stockaholics
29 Sep 14 14:26:22
$VOIS gained 218.52% in less than 3 weeks, after our Penny Stock Alerts! Major Update: http://t.co/LcBxWgdLUh $TECD $ARNA $AET
carl s
29 Sep 14 14:25:27
RT @jembalabala: @biogemfinder Your wish has been granted. $ARNA
Jeremy Embalabala
29 Sep 14 14:19:12
@biogemfinder Your wish has been granted. $ARNA
DayTrading Power
29 Sep 14 13:34:39
live chat results Friday Sept 26: traded 24/26 for +$1305 trading: $AAPL $CNET $BBRY $RPRX $YHOO $DGLY $ARNA $ISNS $NXTD etc
bayu arfianto
29 Sep 14 12:24:05
RT @simonig1: "@klljinvestments: New article on my blog discussing the Belviq with Phentermine combination for $ARNA http://t.co/YxJB0NRf19"
Bang fey
29 Sep 14 12:24:04
RT @simonig1: "@klljinvestments: New article on my blog discussing the Belviq with Phentermine combination for $ARNA http://t.co/YxJB0NRf19"
surny yhoeliaty
29 Sep 14 12:24:02
RT @simonig1: "@klljinvestments: New article on my blog discussing the Belviq with Phentermine combination for $ARNA http://t.co/YxJB0NRf19"
Aldo apri andy
29 Sep 14 12:24:01
RT @simonig1: "@klljinvestments: New article on my blog discussing the Belviq with Phentermine combination for $ARNA http://t.co/YxJB0NRf19"
Cartoon Draw01
29 Sep 14 12:24:01
RT @simonig1: "@klljinvestments: New article on my blog discussing the Belviq with Phentermine combination for $ARNA http://t.co/YxJB0NRf19"
W.
29 Sep 14 12:24:01
RT @simonig1: "@klljinvestments: New article on my blog discussing the Belviq with Phentermine combination for $ARNA http://t.co/YxJB0NRf19"
nabilla shabrina f
29 Sep 14 12:24:00
RT @simonig1: "@klljinvestments: New article on my blog discussing the Belviq with Phentermine combination for $ARNA http://t.co/YxJB0NRf19"
Dico pambayu
29 Sep 14 12:23:59
RT @simonig1: "@klljinvestments: New article on my blog discussing the Belviq with Phentermine combination for $ARNA http://t.co/YxJB0NRf19"
prisilia
29 Sep 14 12:23:59
RT @simonig1: "@klljinvestments: New article on my blog discussing the Belviq with Phentermine combination for $ARNA http://t.co/YxJB0NRf19"
Zulham nya halimah
29 Sep 14 12:23:58
RT @simonig1: "@klljinvestments: New article on my blog discussing the Belviq with Phentermine combination for $ARNA http://t.co/YxJB0NRf19"
Mey septa
29 Sep 14 12:23:58
RT @simonig1: "@klljinvestments: New article on my blog discussing the Belviq with Phentermine combination for $ARNA http://t.co/YxJB0NRf19"
eko mardianto 313
29 Sep 14 12:23:57
RT @simonig1: "@klljinvestments: New article on my blog discussing the Belviq with Phentermine combination for $ARNA http://t.co/YxJB0NRf19"
Selvi Sahira
29 Sep 14 12:23:57
RT @simonig1: "@klljinvestments: New article on my blog discussing the Belviq with Phentermine combination for $ARNA http://t.co/YxJB0NRf19"
Alwi Syahputra
29 Sep 14 12:23:55
RT @simonig1: "@klljinvestments: New article on my blog discussing the Belviq with Phentermine combination for $ARNA http://t.co/YxJB0NRf19"
U.B.H.E.N.D
29 Sep 14 12:23:55
RT @simonig1: "@klljinvestments: New article on my blog discussing the Belviq with Phentermine combination for $ARNA http://t.co/YxJB0NRf19"
				
				
  +Follow June 20, 2013 2:51PM
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