Healthcare Business

Obesity and Weight Loss Drug Shipments Rising

VIVUS Inc. (NASDAQ: VVUS) is the king of weight loss drugs now that it is operating with the first pill to help assist weight loss in a decade. The company’s Qsymia recently received an expanded FDA marketing approval that will begin to help treat more cases of obesity in the next 90 days or so. The good news for the company is that the weight loss drug sales appear to already be on the rise.

In an Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing, VIVUS showed that Qsymia prescriptions rose from 16,733 in January to 18,417 in February for growth of about 10%. The better news is that shipments rose to 23,812 prescriptions in March, and that represents growth of about 29%. Accelerating growth is music to ears of investors, but we caution that making bets too large on a one-month trend this early in the game are certainly no assurance that Qsymia will reach the $1 billion blockbuster drug status in the years ahead.

VIVUS only launched Qsymia to the market back on September 17, 2012. There is just too little time and too little of prescription distribution data to make serious forecasts ahead. The other good news is that these figures are ahead of the preliminary fresh projections made by BofA/Merrill Lynch.

Shares of VIVUS are up almost 5% in premarket trading, at $12.66 against a 52-week trading range of $9.86 to $31.21. The market value as of yesterday’s close was $1.22 billion.