Taiwan FDA: stop using weight loss drug Belviq due do cancer risk
Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated on the 14th that U.S. FDA announced clinical trials assessing safety on the drug's active ingredient, lorcaserin, showed an increased risk of several types of cancer. Taiwan has also asked the "Belviq 10 mg" will be no longer sold and advised patients to immediately discontinue their use of the drug and discuss it with their physician as soon as possible.
FDA division chief Hung Kuo-Teng (洪國登) told CNA that on the 14th, U.S. FDA issued clinical trials showing lorcaserin has a higher frequency of several types of cancer, such as bladder, and colorectal cancers. Hence, the company was asked to voluntarily withdraw from the market and discontinue sales of the drug in the United States.
Currently, Taiwan has approved only one drug permit license of the product containing this ingredient which is "Belviq F.C. Tablets 10mg" (MHW Medicine Import No. 027218). To ensure people's safety of using drugs, Taiwan FDA has asked the holder of the product's drug permit license in Taiwan to discontinue the drug and reassess risks.
Taiwan FDA advised patients to stop using the drug and discuss other possible weight-loss strategies with their physician.
The CNA quoted from Hung Kuo-Teng that since the drug is not covered by Taiwan's national health insurance program, there are no exact statistics on how widely it is used. However, according to retailers, average annual sales of Belviq are around five million doses, leading the FDA to estimate that roughly 10,000-20,000 people use the drug. If individuals taking Belviq has side effects, they can ask for compensation from the company.
Taiwan FDA reminded people that the right way to lose weight should be with diet control and regular exercise. If it is necessary to use drugs, people need a prescription from doctors and choose drugs produced by approved and legal pharmaceutical plants in Taiwan. Staying patient and persistent will bring you health and a well-shaped figure.