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Weight-loss pill wins backing from FDA panel

SILVER SPRING, Md. - A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee voted overwhelmingly yesterday in favor of approving the anti-obesity drug Qnexa. It would be the first new prescription weight-loss drug in 13 years - and only the second one on the market - if the agency follows the panel’s recommendation, which it usually, but not always, does.

The committee voted 20 to 2 to approve Qnexa - a combination of the appetite suppressant phentermine and the seizure and migraine drug topiramate. The FDA turned down the drug in 2010 because of safety concerns over heart risks and birth defects.

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