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."