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Jul 15, 2010 4:03 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

FDA panel narrowly sides against weight loss pill

A Food and Drug Administration panel has voted 9-7 against Vivus Inc.'s Qnexa citing the experimental obesity treatment's negative side effects.

Federal health advisers say the negative effects on concentration and memory outweigh its ability to help patients lose weight. The vote deals a major setback to the Mountainview, California, drugmaker which is racing two other small California drugmakers to market its weight-loss pill.

The FDA will consider the panel's recommendation and make a final decision later this year. The agency has not approved a new prescription weight loss pill in over a decade, and currently available drugs have limited effectiveness and worrisome side effects.

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