MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 1, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- VIVUS, Inc. (Nasdaq:VVUS) today announced the initial availability of Qsymia ® (phentermine and topiramate extended-release) capsules CIV in thousands of certified retail pharmacies, ahead of the previously-stated mid-July 2013 schedule. Qsymia, a prescription-only medication, is initially available as of today in approximately 8,000 Walgreens, Costco and Duane Reade retail pharmacies nationwide. VIVUS will continue to certify and add to the Qsymia retail pharmacy network, including well-known national and regional chains as well as independent pharmacies, in the coming weeks and months. An interactive Qsymia pharmacy locator, optimized for mobile users, is available at www.FindQsymia.com . Healthcare providers or Qsymia patients can simply enter a ZIP code to view an interactive map showing the nearest certified retail pharmacies. Healthcare providers and patients can also call the VIVUS Medical Information line at 1-888-998-4887 if they have any questions about Qsymia retail availability. "Today is the start of a new process that simplifies prescribing and improves access for patients in need of Qsymia, an effective and well-tolerated treatment for chronic weight management," said Peter Tam, president of VIVUS. "With the retail expansion, we remain committed to increasing the availability of Qsymia in thousands of additional certified retail pharmacies nationwide in the coming weeks. This expansion, along with ongoing advancements in insurance coverage and reimbursement, will improve access to Qsymia for millions of patients with obesity." Qsymia had previously been available only through a certified mail-order pharmacy network and will continue to be available to patients who prefer to receive Qsymia by mail. "The addition of certified retail pharmacies to the Qsymia network will reduce the prescribing burden for physicians and the waiting times for patients seeking to initiate therapy for obesity," said Barbara Troupin, MD, vice president, scientific communication and risk management, VIVUS. "Retail availability will improve the overall physician and patient experience with Qsymia."