Everyone has probably read Belviq's label by now but how many have compared Belviq's label to that likely to be received by Qnexa and of some other top selling drugs?
Belviq's only contraindication is pregnant women. All mild AE's. High-level warnings and precautions.
Now compare this to Phentermine that had 6M scripts written for it in 2011. Or to Qnexa's other component, Topiramate. Or of Xenical, which has never been a huge seller because it makes you crap your pants.
Qnexa blended components:
Only other approved weight loss drug:
Now compare Belviq's label to the 4 drugs who did over $8B a year in sales in 2011. Like Lipitor, Belviq tackles the root cause of some disease and should be widely prescribed by doctors who are especially focused on preventative measures. Insurance will cover Belviq, not at launch (except for a handful of states,) but within a year or two.
Lipitor (Statin): http://labeling.pfizer.com/ShowLabeling.aspx?id=587
Remicade (RA): http://www.remicade.com/remicade/assets/hcp_ppi.pdf
Advair (Asthma): http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2010/021077s042lbl.pdf
I don't think it will be a problem for Belviq to have 1M scripts written for it, potentially a lot more than that, in Year 1. Once insurance covers, it will be a 1st line preventative therapy for many of the 79M pre-diabetics in this country along with the 20M diabetics. I wouldn't be shocked to see 10M scripts a year for Belviq within 5 years.