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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
أنا مثقف
26 Dec 14 16:53:01
The next to NASH? ONE HINT -- Its not $ICPT http://t.co/NjCzCiHTsR $ARNA $PFE Belviq will be the next NASH blockbuster $ARNA
FinSentS NASDAQ
26 Dec 14 15:25:55
$ARNA:US 4 Potential Blockbuster Drugs The FDA Just Approved #ARENA PHARMACEUTICALS INC http://t.co/odSkOYRcYr #NASDAQ
Vibeke L. Svansø
26 Dec 14 14:35:34
RT @TalkMarkets: #NovoNordisk's #Saxenda Approved But Company Enters Into A Crowded #Obesity Market $NVO $TKPHF $OREX $ARNA $VVUS http://t.…
j
26 Dec 14 14:24:53
RT @BioTechReturns: .@SEC_Enforcement - short manipulation of $ARNA? How did short interest decline by 40% this year & PPS get killed? Brin…
todzuni
26 Dec 14 14:11:06
@bradloncar noted the same post holiday bump in $ARNA pps back in the day. Holiday chitchat leads to retail buying next trading day $JUNO
Dan
26 Dec 14 14:04:04
$ARNA Max Pain is 4.00 for maturity 12/26/2014. Price = 3.42. http://t.co/trTXAEb7uw
Daniel Ward
26 Dec 14 13:22:03
Commented on: "Biotech Weekly: Everything You Want To Know About Small Cap Biotech... http://t.co/7HaanQHSAI $ARNA $HEB $IBIO $MNKD
TalkMarkets
26 Dec 14 12:59:37
#NovoNordisk's #Saxenda Approved But Company Enters Into A Crowded #Obesity Market $NVO $TKPHF $OREX $ARNA $VVUS http://t.co/OS17apFW2G
HotKeyTrading
26 Dec 14 11:30:06
Unusual Options Activity: Puts: $GDXJ $AUY $BHP $TWO $NBIX $SYMC $ED $CAMP $RHT $MYL $CLDX $ARNA $CLR $KRFT $A http://t.co/TRx9EnjwT5 #spy
Joseph Travfourr
26 Dec 14 11:26:26
@Clarkjeffkm7830 but I would be buying $arna and $mnkd and $rad in the market
Joseph Travfourr
26 Dec 14 11:23:07
@Clarkjeffkm7830 and at $3.47, I would buy $ARNA.
Stockaholics
26 Dec 14 10:54:23
With Penny Stock Picks On $STTK & $RGMI, subscribers saw 671% Gains In One Month! Big Update: http://t.co/vpyNZKGU9u $TECD $ARNA $AET
Tom Wrigley
26 Dec 14 10:09:33
4 Potential Blockbuster Drugs The FDA Just Approved http://t.co/xQx14xxKaQ $ABBV $BMY $MRK $MYGN $NVO $CBST $AZN $VVUS $ARNA $OREX
Владимир Соколов
26 Dec 14 09:20:06
@MarcelitoMaura: The next to NASH? ONE HINT -- Its not $ICPT http://t.co/KecjUjFSLQ $ARNA $PFE Belviq will be the next NASH blockbuster
Penny Stock Secret
26 Dec 14 09:06:01
This Gifted Stock Picking Service Keeps On Delivering All Year http://t.co/SVqoMlijqL .. $TECD $ARNA $AET
HotKeyTrading
26 Dec 14 08:30:15
Price Declines: $LFL $FNF $AUO $MCHX $RDN $CY $PMCS $SAPE $RF $SAND $ARNA $MTG $VIP $CYTK $RAD http://t.co/TRx9EnjwT5 #daytrader #analytics
Sterph1
26 Dec 14 07:53:52
Lowest close for $ARNA $3.53 - below that now so will now see if defends or caves. headline/bs watch as well but may let sit till Mon.
Dan
26 Dec 14 06:16:30
$ARNA OI for maturity 12/26/2014. 4.00 Highest put. 4.00 Highest call. http://t.co/LwWka26rK1
StockNewsWires
26 Dec 14 06:13:05
$GNW $ARNA: Morning Movers: Genworth Financial (NYSE:GNW), Arena ... http://t.co/YthePqA7ED http://t.co/YfLhyHscJK
Daily Contracts
26 Dec 14 05:07:01
Real-Time feed of company contracts, original agreements and executive updates from Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. $ARNA http://t.co/XSXYVIKBm5
DayTraderChoice
26 Dec 14 05:03:46
DollarsOnPennies: $ARNA Weekly http://t.co/l3znpABrCW
DayTraderChoice
26 Dec 14 05:03:46
DollarsOnPennies: $ARNA Daily http://t.co/XHd6GcOnj9
Ashwant Ramjan
26 Dec 14 04:26:57
@MarcelitoMaura: The next to NASH? ONE HGebQG $ARNA $PFE Belviq will be the next NASH blockbuster $ARNA
Stockaholics
26 Dec 14 01:19:56
With Penny Stock Picks On $STTK & $RGMI, subscribers saw 671% Gains In One Month! Big Update: http://t.co/vpyNZKGU9u $TECD $ARNA $AET
DailyStockPicks
26 Dec 14 01:14:56
$ECIG short squeeze due on FTD. 5x gain potential $IOC $ARNA $ENTA http://t.co/FpfORFAs20 http://t.co/BtVfUk5p46 http://t.co/HzSBxg8h2O
HotKeyTrading
25 Dec 14 23:30:07
Unusual Options Activity: Puts: $ARNA $CLR $KRFT $A $SIRI $GLW $NE $ACHN $UA $NSC $ESRX $CCL $CBST $CBI $DO http://t.co/TRx9EnjwT5 #trader
DailyStockPicks
25 Dec 14 21:00:25
$ECIG short squeeze due on FTD. 5x gain potential $AMAT $ARNA $GST http://t.co/FpfORFAs20 http://t.co/BtVfUk5p46 http://t.co/HzSBxg8h2O
carl s
25 Dec 14 20:37:04
RT @TomRainser: @MarcelitoMaura: The next to NASH? ONE HINT -- Its not $ICPT http://t.co/HQJnBJR6e1 $ARNA $PFE Belviq will be the next NASH…
Tom Rainser
25 Dec 14 19:43:05
@MarcelitoMaura: The next to NASH? ONE HINT -- Its not $ICPT http://t.co/HQJnBJR6e1 $ARNA $PFE Belviq will be the next NASH blockbuster $ARN
Stockaholics
25 Dec 14 17:06:45
With Penny Stock Picks On $STTK & $RGMI, subscribers saw 671% Gains In One Month! Big Update: http://t.co/vpyNZKGU9u $TECD $ARNA $AET
Dan
25 Dec 14 16:15:10
$ARNA high open interest range is 4.00 to 4.00 for option expiration 12/26/2014. http://t.co/LwWka26rK1
Dan
25 Dec 14 16:00:40
$ARNA Max Pain = 4.00. Maturity = 12/26/2014. Previous close = 3.57. http://t.co/trTXAEb7uw
Jhuииior Cobalsk
25 Dec 14 15:41:41
@MarcelitoMaura: The next to NASH? ONE HINT -- Its not $ICPT http://t.co/4zJY91M7Tr $ARNA $PFE Belviq will be the next NASH blockbuster $ARN
Rosner Stocks
25 Dec 14 15:35:36
$ARNA Financials Updated Thursday, December 25, 2014 5:59:28 PM $AXP $ISIS $SCO $SLB http://t.co/IwJlCuBmoT
Langan Stocks
25 Dec 14 15:35:15
$CELG Short Sales Updated Thursday, December 25, 2014 6:03:37 PM $AXP $ARNA $NVDA $OUTR http://t.co/HKAcIrJmST
Langan Stocks
25 Dec 14 15:35:08
$AIG Investor Opinions Updated Thursday, December 25, 2014 6:03:37 PM $ARNA $BTU $NUGT $RIG http://t.co/r7oOmLe5T4
IH News Desk
25 Dec 14 13:51:14
$EMC Financials Updated Thursday, December 25, 2014 4:11:54 PM $ARNA $GDX $SLB $ACN http://t.co/t2ZT4f6zNP
Langan Stocks
25 Dec 14 12:33:13
$SLW Reviews Updated Thursday, December 25, 2014 3:03:36 PM $ARNA $AMT $CSIQ $SDRL http://t.co/udvjmNzKCl
Langan Stocks
25 Dec 14 12:33:12
$EPI News Updated Thursday, December 25, 2014 3:03:36 PM $ARNA $GE $INTC $PCLN http://t.co/wYGU4mZzb7
Stockaholics
25 Dec 14 12:03:21
With Penny Stock Picks On $STTK & $RGMI, subscribers saw 671% Gains In One Month! Big Update: http://t.co/vpyNZKGU9u $TECD $ARNA $AET
HotKeyTrading
25 Dec 14 11:30:06
Unusual Options Activity: Puts: $ARNA $CLR $KRFT $A $SIRI $GLW $NE $ACHN $UA $NSC $ESRX $CCL $CBST $CBI $DO http://t.co/Vv2VEnpBuv #stock
IH News Desk
25 Dec 14 09:47:32
$COST Filings Updated Thursday, December 25, 2014 12:11:55 PM $EEM $PM $XLF $ARNA http://t.co/8sWioetGmu
Langan Stocks
25 Dec 14 07:28:13
$CL News Updated Thursday, December 25, 2014 10:03:36 AM $BP $DD $ARNA $NUS http://t.co/XNLbqQe4qr
Langan Stocks
25 Dec 14 07:28:11
$XLE Company Info Updated Thursday, December 25, 2014 10:03:36 AM $AA $AMAT $AKAM $ARNA http://t.co/yHa8UUCZWK
Langan Stocks
25 Dec 14 06:27:11
$AIG Financials Updated Thursday, December 25, 2014 09:03:37 AM $ARNA $DE $GALE $RSX http://t.co/quQd66UtXb
IH News Desk
25 Dec 14 05:42:33
$AAPL Filings Updated Thursday, December 25, 2014 08:11:58 AM $ARNA $GRPN $HD $CBS http://t.co/RLgLo3YhcI
Langan Stocks
25 Dec 14 05:26:20
$ARNA News Updated Thursday, December 25, 2014 08:03:38 AM $CL $DTV $UNH $RIG http://t.co/jFWEDAFLWE
IH News Desk
25 Dec 14 04:41:33
$AMRN Stock Price Updated Thursday, December 25, 2014 07:11:57 AM $AA $ARNA $UUP $DAL http://t.co/XwDZAi17NB
Stock_Tracker
25 Dec 14 04:37:56
Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA) 3.57 $ARNA Novo Nordisk's Saxenda Gets FDA Nod, Launch in 1H15 - Analyst Blog Zac http://t.co/St5yZ0KuZt
Rosner Stocks
25 Dec 14 04:24:42
$AET Percent Change Updated Thursday, December 25, 2014 06:59:29 AM $IWM $GM $ISIS $ARNA http://t.co/52VfIMPIIF
				
				
  +Follow June 20, 2013 2:51PM
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