WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., Jan. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Eisai Inc. today announced the launch of a new savings card for BELVIQ® (lorcaserin HCl) CIV, the most prescribed branded FDA-approved prescription drug therapy for chronic weight management.** The new savings card enables eligible patients without commercial coverage for BELVIQ to pay no more than $75 for each monthly prescription. Those patients who have commercial insurance for BELVIQ can use the card to get additional savings if their copay is greater than $50.*
BELVIQ is used along with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adults who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or greater (obese), or BMI of 27 kg/m2 or greater (overweight) with at least one weight-related medical condition such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes. It is not known if BELVIQ is safe and effective when taken with other prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal weight loss products, nor is it known if BELVIQ changes the risk of heart problems or stroke, or death due to heart problems or stroke.
"We are pleased to see that more and more insurance companies have decided to provide coverage for medications for chronic weight management, but there are still a significant number of patients who do not have access," said Frank Ciriello, President of the Global Neurology Business Unit at Eisai Inc. "Until coverage of these treatments becomes a standard healthcare benefit, this new card will make BELVIQ more affordable and accessible for appropriate patients who need it. The card is being introduced at the beginning of the year when many people resolve to lose weight and develop healthier habits."
The savings card for BELVIQ can be obtained through physician offices or pharmacies and does not require activation or enrollment. Patients also can download the card at www.belviq.com/registration/ by scrolling down to click on "Register for Savings Card." Patients then simply need to sign it and bring the card and their BELVIQ prescription to the pharmacy to realize instant savings. The card is good for the purchase of one prescription for any 30-day period (up to 12 uses per year).
"Working with their healthcare team, individuals affected by this chronic disease should have access to FDA-approved medications for the treatment of obesity," said Joe Nadglowski, president and CEO of the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), a national non-profit organization dedicated to giving a voice to those affected by obesity. "We applaud Eisai for taking a proactive step in providing this type of program, as improving access to these medications is a critically important step in treating obesity. It is our hope that the savings program will give individuals the opportunity to address their weight and, if appropriate, utilize prescription drug therapy as part of an overall healthcare plan to improve their weight and health."
In addition to the new savings card, patients can enroll in BELIEVE EVERYDAY SUPPORTSM (www.believesupport.com), a comprehensive lifestyle program which includes a year's membership to Lose It!, an app for tracking calories and activity; nutrition information; tools for meal planning and tips to help patients stay motivated.
"Losing weight can be daunting for many people," Ciriello added. "Eisai is proud to offer support for patients who are committed to living a healthier life."
Approximately two-thirds of American adults are affected by obesity or are overweight and the prevalence of obesity in the United States has more than doubled among adults in the past 30 years. Many health organizations and authorities, including the American Medical Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health now recognize obesity as a chronic and progressive disease that carries extra health risks and needs to be treated.
Important Safety Information about BELVIQ®
- Pregnancy: Do not take BELVIQ if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, as weight loss offers no potential benefit during pregnancy and BELVIQ may harm your unborn baby.
- Serotonin Syndrome or Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)-like reactions: Before using BELVIQ, tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, especially medicines that treat depression, migraines, mental problems, or the common cold. These medicines may cause serious or life-threatening side effects if taken with BELVIQ. Call your doctor right away if you experience agitation, hallucinations, confusion, or other changes in mental status; coordination problems; uncontrolled muscle spasms; muscle twitching; restlessness; racing or fast heartbeat; high or low blood pressure; sweating; fever; nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; or stiff muscles.
- Valvular heart disease: Some people taking medicines like BELVIQ have had heart valve problems. Call your doctor right away if you experience trouble breathing; swelling of the arms, legs, ankles, or feet; dizziness, fatigue, or weakness that will not go away; or fast or irregular heartbeat. Before taking BELVIQ, tell your doctor if you have or have had heart problems.
- Changes in attention or memory: BELVIQ may slow your thinking. You should not drive a car or operate heavy equipment until you know how BELVIQ affects you.
- Mental problems: Taking too much BELVIQ may cause hallucinations, a feeling of being high or in a very good mood, or feelings of standing outside your body.
- Depression or thoughts of suicide: Call your doctor right away if you notice any mental changes, especially sudden changes in your mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings, or if you have depression or thoughts of suicide.
- Low blood sugar: Weight loss can cause low blood sugar in people taking medicines for type 2 diabetes, such as insulin or sulfonylureas. Blood sugar levels should be checked before and while taking BELVIQ. Changes to diabetes medication may be needed if low blood sugar develops.
- Painful erections: If you have an erection lasting more than 4 hours while on BELVIQ, stop taking BELVIQ and call your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room right away.
- Slow heartbeat: BELVIQ may cause your heart to beat slower.
- Decreases in blood cell count: BELVIQ may cause your red and white blood cell counts to decrease.
- Increase in prolactin: BELVIQ may increase the amount of a hormone called prolactin. Tell your doctor if your breasts begin to make milk or a milky fluid, or if you are a male and your breasts increase in size.
- Most common side effects in patients without diabetes: Headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, dry mouth, and constipation.
- Most common side effects in patients with diabetes: Low blood sugar, headache, back pain, cough, and fatigue.
- Nursing: BELVIQ should not be taken while breastfeeding.
- Drug interactions: Before taking BELVIQ, tell your doctor if you take medicines for depression, migraines, or other medical conditions, such as: triptans; medicines used to treat mood, anxiety, psychotic or thought disorders, including tricyclics, lithium, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or antipsychotics; cabergoline; linezolid (an antibiotic); tramadol; dextromethorphan (an over-the-counter (OTC) common cold/cough medicine); OTC supplements such as tryptophan or St. John's Wort; or erectile dysfunction medicines.
BELVIQ is a federally controlled substance (CIV) because it may be abused or lead to drug dependence.
BELVIQ® is a registered trademark of Arena Pharmaceuticals GmbH.
BELIEVE EVERYDAY SUPPORTSM is a servicemark of Eisai Inc.
Lose It!® is a registered trademark of FitNow, Inc. d/b/a "Lose It!"
About Eisai Inc.
At Eisai Inc., human health care is our goal. We give our first thoughts to patients and their families, and helping to increase the benefits health care provides. As the U.S. pharmaceutical subsidiary of Tokyo-based Eisai Co., Ltd., we have a passionate commitment to patient care that is the driving force behind our efforts to help address unmet medical needs. We are a fully integrated pharmaceutical business with discovery, clinical, manufacturing and marketing capabilities. Our key areas of commercial focus include oncology and specialty care (Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy and metabolic disorders). To learn more about Eisai Inc., please visit us at www.eisai.com/US.
Eisai Inc. has affiliates that are part of a global product creation organization that includes R&D facilities in Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, as well as a global demand chain organization that includes manufacturing facilities in Maryland and North Carolina. Eisai's global areas of R&D focus include neuroscience; oncology; metabolic disorders; vascular, inflammatory and immunological reaction; and antibody-based programs.
* This excludes patients who are eligible for state or federal healthcare programs. Additional restrictions apply. See complete Restrictions and Conditions of Use at www.BELVIQ.com.
** Source: IMS Health, National Prescription Audit, TRx data (December 2014).
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SOURCE Eisai Inc.
Type Press Release
Date Released January 20, 2015