MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Jan. 14, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- VIVUS, Inc. (Nasdaq:VVUS), today announced that it has joined with Aetna (NYSE:AET), one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, to integrate Qsymia ® (phentermine and topiramate extended-release) capsules CIV into a pilot program designed to evaluate the benefits of prescription medication combined with lifestyle support for weight loss. The program is the first of its kind involving Qsymia and a health care benefits provider.

"We are proud to partner with Aetna as they take the lead among payors in developing a complete and integrated approach to chronic weight management," said Seth H. Z. Fischer, CEO of VIVUS. "Obesity is a serious disease, and we believe patients need greater access to safe and effective options in order to achieve the benefits of a lower, healthier weight."

The Aetna pilot program is currently being offered to self-insured plan sponsors, and includes outreach to appropriate members and health care providers regarding covered options. Participants in the pilot will also receive free membership to Lose It!, a mobile app provided through Aetna Navigator ® and CarePass ®, to support weight loss and positive lifestyle changes.

"Aetna is committed to offering access to clinically proven options that may deliver better results and hope for those struggling to lose weight," said Ed Pezalla, MD, National Medical Director for Pharmacy Policy and Strategy, Aetna. "Safety, effectiveness and value are our priorities. We want our members to be informed about their options and give them the support they need to make healthy changes."

"We are pleased to see pharmaceutical companies and payors collaborating to address weight management in a comprehensive way to help solve the health crisis and get more parties involved in the conversation," said Joe Nadglowski, Obesity Action Coalition President and CEO. "We believe this partnership will provide a successful model for future collaborations."

The pilot is expected to provide insight regarding impact on health outcomes, workplace productivity and the potential for reductions in medical costs. The program is projected to run through year-end 2014. Pilot participation is being managed through Aetna. Eligible participants will receive information through their employers.

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/m2 or greater (obese) or 27 kg/m2 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.


VIVUS is a biopharmaceutical company commercializing and developing innovative, next-generation therapies to address unmet needs in obesity, sleep apnea, diabetes and sexual health. For more information about the company, please visit

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, including risks and uncertainties related to the impact on our business of the Aetna pilot program offering comprehensive weight management; risks and uncertainties related to the impact of the Aetna pilot program on weight management and the timing of the program, including the insight provided by the program on the impact on health outcomes, workplace productivity and the potential for reductions in medical costs; risks and uncertainties related to the need for greater access to safe and effective options to achieve the benefits of weight loss; and risks and uncertainties related to collaborations between pharmaceutical companies and payors providing a successful model for future collaborations. These risks and uncertainties could cause actual results to differ materially from those referred to in these forward-looking statements. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. Investors should read the risk factors set forth in VIVUS's Form 10-K for the year ending December 31, 2012, as amended by the Form 10-K/A filed on April 30, 2013 and by the Form 10-K/A filed on June 12, 2013, and periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. VIVUS does not undertake an obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.
CONTACT: VIVUS, Inc.         Dana B. Shinbaum         Corporate Development & Investor Relations                  Media Relations: GolinHarris         Ashley Buford         212-373-6045                  Investor Relations: The Trout Group         Brian Korb         646-378-2923