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SAN DIEGO (
TheStreet) -- Some of
Arena Pharmaceuticals'(ARNA - Get Report) retail-investor shareholders accuse the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency of conspiring with Wall Street hedge funds to delay the commercial launch of the company's weight-loss pill Belviq.
The DEA is collecting public comments on its
proposed rule making Belviq a Schedule IV controlled substance. The 30-day comment period ends on Jan. 18, after which DEA will finalize its ruling. After another 30-day waiting period, the rule becomes effective and Arena's marketing partner Eisai can start selling Belviq and begin to compete against
Vivus'(VVUS - Get Report) Qsymia.
But this routine bureaucratic procedure is too long and unnecessary, according to some Arena supporters who believe Belviq should be made commercially available immediately. That the drug isn't yet stocked on pharmacy shelves is another sign that crooked Wall Street is trying to destroy Arena and keep obese Americans from the live-saving therapy they so desperately need.
Read through the eye-opening (and head-scratching) public comments posted on the DEA's proposed rule.
My favorite, from
Roger Carter posted yesterday:
If there is one thing I'm sure of, the DEA will act at the last minute of the last day... on Belviq...The FDA and now the DEA, has killed more Americans than any Terrorist could dream about by delaying this safe and effective drug to so many Americans who need them. The problem in the US is these agencies have all been captured by Wall Street. Wall Street don't make widgets, they lie, steal and manipulate everything. They canot make the billions any other way. They have to manipulate. Does it really take 6 months to review a drug? I don't think so. Wall Street hedge funds are behind the delays in order to make millions by manipulating the stock with out fear. There is no other way there could be 56 million shorts on the company unless they have the inside scoop of the delays. So you people at the DEA have to look in the mirror and ask yourself, is it worth to delay a drug that can save lives for a few bucks in a Swiss account?...Reza Ganjavi, echoing Carter's sentiments:
Dear DEA In reviewing the comments submitted please note that there is an interest by some hedge funds to disparage lorcasersin because they are facing a huge loss due to fighting against science and truth, and fortunately losing that fight when FDA approved the drug...Mark Davis, who identifies himself as an Arena shareholder:
It has taken over 6 mths for the DEA to review Belviq. In the mean time, thousand have died and are dying who could have been helped with this new novel drug from Arena. I'm sure there are people at the DEA saying well, "Tough Tinsel, it's not my problem we have rules and guidelines we must follow, we are the DEA" while sitting behind there desk sipping on a 16 ounce Coke... Said to see all government agencies have been captured by Wall Street hedge funds at the expensue of Dying Americans. Yesterday was to late already.David Kistler:
This process took six months -- time the drug could have been available to begin treating the obesity epidemic. I personally know many people who desperately need a solution to their obesity problem and are being adversely impacted by the unnecessary delays in bringing this drug to market. Although Arena Pharmaceuticals, the company that developed lorcaserin, spent over $1 billion bringing it through approval, they have been unable to sell the drug will they waited six months for this classification decision. There is no legitimate reason to classify lorcasering in any higher level of the Schedule and I suggest that any comments urging that position have probably been submitted by competitors or hedge funds either invested in competitors or short shares of Arena Pharmaceuticals....
While waiting for the final DEA scheduling to become effective, Arena and Eisai are also working through the regulatory approval process for Belviq in Europe. The European Medicine Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) is meeting this week (Jan. 14-17) and will make its recommendation public on Friday, Jan. 18.
It's not known if Belviq is on this week's CHMP docket. [The committee doesn't make its monthly meeting agendas public in advance.] Arena executives have told investors to expect a European approval decision on Belviq in the first half of the year. Arena's retail investor shareholders fully expect a CHMP positive recommendation to be announced on Friday.
The recent strength in Arena shares -- up 19% since the beginning of the year -- is largely tied to anticipation of a positive European approval recommendation on Friday. Arena shares are up 5% to $10.72 in Tuesday trading.
-- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.Follow @AdamFeuerstein