Valeant Canada announces that Health Canada has approved Contrave extended-release tablets for use as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adults. Patients with an obese or overweight initial body mass index (BMI) with at least one weight-related comorbidity (e.g., hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus or dyslipidemia) would be appropriate patients to take the drug.
Obesity is a growing problem worldwide, which is classified by excessive bodily fat. Although levels of adult obesity have remained relatively stable since 2004, the statistics presented by M. Tjepkema adult obesity 2006 health report suggest that they have doubled since 1978.
“The approval of Contrave in Canada represents an important new option for physicians treating obesity,” says Richard Lajoie, president, Valeant Canada. “We are extremely proud to bring this new innovative treatment for Canadian patients struggling to lose weight for the improvement of their health and quality of life. Obesity is a growing problem for patients and the Canadian economy with approximately 40 per cent of Canadian adults overweight or obese, and an economic burden ranging from $4.6 billion to $7.1 billion annually.”
Across four Phase III studies, patients who took Contrave with a BMI over 27 and a weight-related comorbidity and patients affected by obesity (BMI over 30) lost up to four times more weight over one year by adding Contrave than with diet and exercise alone. In addition, over 60 per cent of patients taking Contrave lost five per cent or more body weight and kept it off for 56 weeks versus 23 per cent of patients taking a placebo.
“Obesity is a widely prevalent, chronic and complex disease with associated health risks that can lower a person’s life expectancy and quality of life,” says Dr. Arya M. Sharma, founder and scientific director of the Canadian Obesity Network. “Therefore, the approval of Contrave benefits Canadians struggling and seeking help with their weight. I am excited to provide my patients with a new and clinically proven anti-obesity treatment option to help them take control of their weight and improve their health and well-being.”
Contrave has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States since September 2014. Canada is the 25th country to launch the drug worldwide. Valeant Canada licenses Contrave from Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc.