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Analysis In Health Economics Review Concludes Effective Medical Obesity Treatment Could Reduce Medicare Spending

Stocks in this article: VVUS

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., March 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- VIVUS, Inc. (Nasdaq:  VVUS) announced today that a new study demonstrates that effective medical treatment providing 10% to 15% weight loss could lead to significant improvements in Medicare spending by reversing or reducing significant health consequences such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia in obese or overweight patients.

The study, conducted by Kenneth E. Thorpe, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Health Policy and Management, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, was published today online [ http://www.healtheconomicsreview.com/content/pdf/2191-1991-3-7.pdf] in Health Economics Review. It is the first research to project the potential impact that a new generation of FDA-approved anti-obesity medications could have on Medicare spending among adults aged 65 and older who are either obese or overweight with at least one weight-related comorbidity such as hypertension or diabetes.

"America's weight problem is contributing to its spending problem," said Dr. Thorpe. "Including anti-obesity medications that can achieve this level of efficacy in the Medicare benefits package will fill the gap between lifestyle changes alone and bariatric surgery. It could save billions in lifetime Medicare spending."

"Obesity is a chronic condition that contributes to a number of comorbidities such as diabetes and hypertension, which are costly to treat," said W. Timothy Garvey, MD, Butterworth Professor and Chair, Department of Nutrition Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. "By targeting obesity as a key contributor to these conditions, we can improve patient outcomes and make a positive impact on the costs related to treating these comorbidities."

The study suggests that 10% to 15% weight loss in obese and overweight people could produce gross per capita savings ranging from approximately $6,000 to $13,000 over a 10-year period, depending on a variety of factors. Potential savings were even greater over a lifetime. Collectively, among the estimated 11.2 million Medicare patients who are obese or overweight with at least one weight-related comorbidity, the lifetime savings could total in the billions of dollars.

The study highlighted that weight loss produced by Qsymia ® (phentermine and topiramate extended-release) capsules CIV demonstrated durability over a two-year period of treatment. The Qsymia mid and top dose led to greater weight loss results, and patients who adhere to a treatment regimen are more likely to achieve 10% to 15% weight loss and sustain it over time.

About Qsymia Qsymia is approved in the U.S. and is indicated as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adults with an initial body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m 2 or greater (obese) or 27 kg/m 2 or greater (overweight) in the presence of at least one weight-related medical condition such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol.

The effect of Qsymia on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality has not been established. The safety and effectiveness of Qsymia in combination with other products intended for weight loss, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and herbal preparations, have not been established.

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