Seeking Alpha (GO TO ARTICLE TO READ WHOLE ARTICLE)
December 28, 2012
Disclosure: I am long ARNA. (More...)
It's official: Arena's (ARNA) Belviq wins the race to be the first effective, safe and non-addictive obesity drug. Thursday the Drug Enforcement Agency provided Arena and its investors the long-awaited news that Belviq would be a schedule IV drug. The DEA wrote the following: "The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) proposes placing the substance lorcaserin, including its salts, isomers, and salts of isomers whenever the existence of such salts, isomers, and salts of isomers is possible, into Schedule IV of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA)." This is great news for obese people who want easy access to Belviq and for investors who want to ensure that Arena provides easy access to Belviq.
DEA's designation of Belviq as a schedule IV means that the DEA believes Belviq is no more addictive than many cough syrups - seriously. Some cough syrups (with codeine) are a schedule IV drug as well. For perspective sake, marijuana and heroin are schedule I, which according to the DEA means that they are highly addictive and likely to be abused by their users. Schedule II include morphine and cocaine. Schedule III includes things like anabolic steroids and Vicodin, and schedule IV includes the above-mentioned drugs. When Belviq's ease of access is compared to Vivus' (VVUS) Qsymia, Belviq is almost over-the-counter. Sorry Vivus, you're losing.