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Using Drugs to Treat Obesity

PretzelCorps

Registered Member
Diet drugs have had a rough year in 2010. In October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nixed not one but two new weight-loss drugs, lorcaserin and Qnexa, because of possible links to cancer (lorcaserin) and heart problems (Qnexa).

But this week an FDA advisory committee gave the thumbs up to a third drug, Contrave, meaning there could be a new tool on the horizon for battling obesity.

(The FDA doesn't have to approve the drug, but often follows its panels' advice.)

And really, doctors could use one. Previous attempts to find safe diet drugs that work by controlling appetite have met with some success, but most have been doomed by side effects.

Fen-phen, heavily marketed in the 1990s, caused heart valve problems while rimonabant became linked with suicidal thinking and depression, leading an FDA advisory committee to recommend against approving it in 2007.
Combo of old drugs offers new hope in obesity fight - CNN.com

Really simple topic here --> Since study after study after study has shown that obesity is almost entirely linked with caloric intake vs. caloric output, in typical people, (basically, diet vs. exercise - I cite the recent Twinkie Diet experiment, for example) is it ethical to treat obesity using heavy drugs, or make/allow people to think that obesity can be managed using heavy drugs?
 

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
No it's not ethical, but no one ever accused Big Pharma of being ethical. In fact there have been several judgments lately against pharmaceutical companies for selling drugs which had known risky side-effects (such as death and suicidal ideation) or drugs which had been shown to be ineffective.
 

Mirage

Secret Agent
Staff member
V.I.P.
What Jeanie said. People die from these types of drugs all the time. I don't believe there will ever be a "magic pill" to cure obesity. As the saying goes: "If you eat fat and greasy food, you'll turn into a fat and greasy dude." If you don't want to be fat then you need to exercise regularly and watch what you eat.

The saddest thing about this subject is that people know exactly what to do to get in shape and they simply would rather take a pill that requires them to change nothing about their lifestyle. If you consume more calories than you burn, you're going to get bigger. End of story.
 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
I don't really see ethics coming into play here to be honest. A lot of people really enjoy this "Haha you're a fatty because you're a lazy slob" view of overweight people when weight gain is not just about overeating. There's a lot of contributing factors and a lot to consider. Also, depending on your situation, it's not always so easy to lose weight. If a pill were to be developed that was fairly safe in the side effects that aided with weight loss, I bet it would do a lot of good. Nothing I think will ever 'cure' obesity, but if people got that first boost, saw those first few pounds go away quickly, I bet you'd jolt their motivation enough to really help them.
 

Wade8813

Registered Member
I think we're mixing up two different issues here. The fact that pharmaceutical companies have sold shady drugs (of all varieties) in the past has no bearing on whether weight-loss drugs are ethical or not.
 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
I'd also like to challenge this assumption:

The saddest thing about this subject is that people know exactly what to do to get in shape and they simply would rather take a pill that requires them to change nothing about their lifestyle. If you consume more calories than you burn, you're going to get bigger. End of story.
I think you give people way too much credit and assume too much here. Even nutritionists and athletes learn more everyday about metabolism and weight loss/gain. What we think we know each day changes. It's slightly ignorant to just assume everyone knows how to effectively lose weight and get in shape. Even basic exercises only go so far. Losing weight means putting yourself on a plan. You don't just lift weights for an hour, each some vegetables and go to bed. You won't get results unless you tailor your plan to what kind of results you want.
 

Ilus_Unistus

Registered Member
I do not like the idea to use any drug as a way to lose weight. I think if people wish to lose weight it should be done with diet and exercise only.

People are becoming more and more dependent on drugs as a means to lose weight, or control their children etc etc... I think it is a shame people do this because they are lazy or is to much work or they just do not want to deal with responsibilities.
 

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
I think we're mixing up two different issues here. The fact that pharmaceutical companies have sold shady drugs (of all varieties) in the past has no bearing on whether weight-loss drugs are ethical or not.
they're still selling shady drugs of all varieties. They're getting away with whatever they can because they're in it to make money, not to help people. Obesity cannot be managed pharmaceutically, hence it is unethical to sell so-called obesity drugs.


If you went to a mechanic who told you that he can do this and such to your vehicle and it will improve your gas mileage by x much, but it wasn't really true, wouldn't that be unethical? This is the same thing.
 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
Obesity cannot be managed pharmaceutically, hence it is unethical to sell so-called obesity drugs.
Not to be a dick or anything, but how do you know this? You seem awfully far ahead in research compared to the academic realm. :p

I still don't see how this logic proves the lack of ethics. There are no ethics involved in a weight loss pill. There ARE ethics involved in big pharma being able to avoid the FDA, selling experimental drugs as wonder cures and such and then seeing desperate people get hurt. It's not the drugs to be blamed here, it's the structure of the system. It's the "blame the pencil" type of logic and it doesn't work.

Say they actually DO develop a pill that say, drops five pounds healthily each week with minimal side effects. Is it still unethical? And if so, how? If it's effective and was tested to be safe, so what if people want it? If your argument is that it's because someone didn't earn it, then that logic is easily defeated. But I kind of doubt that so I won't assume so much and let you answer instead.

If you went to a mechanic who told you that he can do this and such to your vehicle and it will improve your gas mileage by x much, but it wasn't really true, wouldn't that be unethical? This is the same thing.
Not really. This is like going to a newly opened mechanic and the mechanic promising your car to be perfect when he's done adding his newly designed parts but shortly after he services it, the car starts breaking down again. Upon return, it turns out his license is hand-drawn and his shop is closed. Point being, the parts he put in the car are not the problem.
 

EllyDicious

made of AMBIGUITY
V.I.P.
There is no healthier way to get in shape other than eating in moderation and doing physical activities. Period.
There are hundreds of ways to lose pound but people should aim towards ways that cause almost none to zero health risks.
Behind every drug there are side effects and I'll never get rid of the idea that people who take these drugs to lose weight are just too lazy to work out.
Obese people can start off by walking[which requires no big effort] and it's the easiest and one of the healthiest ways to lose weight.

The only case where I can put up with those drugs is when people are super obese to the point they can hardly get up and walk.

NSFW - disturbing image.
 
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