WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J.
, Feb. 10, 2014
/PRNewswire/ -- Eisai Inc. reported today that it has secured improved patient access of BELVIQ® (lorcaserin HCl) with two leading healthcare benefit companies: CVS Caremark and Aetna. CVS Caremark customers (employers and health plans) have broadened the coverage of Eisai's BELVIQ, according to Fingertip Formulary, an integrated database of formulary information. Fingertip Formulary reports that depending on the design of the health plan or employer benefit, eligible CVS Caremark members may have access to BELVIQ in either a preferred or non-preferred brand position. In addition, Fingertip Formulary states that the number of insured commercial lives in the United States with coverage for BELVIQ is growing, and now exceeds 50 percent.
Recently, Aetna announced that it would offer BELVIQ as a preferred brand to eligible patients as part of its pilot program to self-insured plan sponsors. The Aetna program, which offers access to lifestyle management programs and surgical options, also will measure improvement in health outcomes, productivity and medical costs.
"We are committed to ensuring that patients have access to BELVIQ," said Lonnel Coats, President and Chief Executive Officer, Eisai Inc. "Given how many people are struggling with their weight, it's important to provide options to those who have not been able to sustain long-term weight loss with diet and exercise alone."
Approximately one-third of American adults are overweight and another one-third of adults are obese. This dramatic rise of people who are obese or overweight has major consequences for public health. In addition, obesity is related to annual medical and pharmacy costs of up to $147 billion and productivity costs (encompassing absenteeism and presenteeism) of up to $60 billion.
Fingertip Formulary's reporting of covered commercial lives provides general insights to patient access. A patient's individual coverage for BELVIQ will vary and is based upon the design of their health plan or their employer benefit. Patients should contact their insurance provider or employer for determination of their individual coverage.
About BELVIQ® (lorcaserin HCl) CIV
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.
BELVIQ is believed to decrease food consumption and promote satiety by selectively activating serotonin 2C receptors in the brain. The exact mechanism of action of BELVIQ is not known.
Important Safety Information
- 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.
For more information about BELVIQ, click here for the full Product Information or visit www.BELVIQ.com.
BELVIQ® is a registered trademark of Arena Pharmaceuticals GmbH.
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.
SOURCE Eisai Inc.