VIVUS Collaborates With Aetna to Test First Comprehensive Weight Management Program Integrating Weight Loss Medication
New Program, Available Now, Integrates Qsymia to Help Bridge the Gap Between Lifestyle Interventions and Surgical Treatments
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(R) (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,
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(R) and CarePass(R), to support weight loss and positive
"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."
The pilot is expected to provide insight regarding impact on health
outcomes, workplace productivity and the potential for reductions in
medical costs. The program is projected to run through year-end 2014.
Pilot participation is being managed through Aetna. Eligible
participants will receive information through their employers.
Qsymia is approved in the U.S. and is indicated as an adjunct to a
reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight
management in adults with an initial body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2
or greater (obese) or 27 kg/m2 or greater (overweight) in the presence
of at least one weight-related medical condition such as high blood
pressure, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol.
The effect of Qsymia on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality has not
been established. The safety and effectiveness of Qsymia in combination
with other products intended for weight loss, including prescription
and over-the-counter drugs, and herbal preparations, have not been
VIVUS is a biopharmaceutical company commercializing and developing
innovative, next-generation therapies to address unmet needs in
obesity, sleep apnea, diabetes and sexual health. For more information
about the company, please visit www.vivus.com.
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking within the
meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and are
subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, including risks and
uncertainties related to the impact on our business of the Aetna pilot
program offering comprehensive weight management; risks and
uncertainties related to the impact of the Aetna pilot program on
weight management and the timing of the program, including the insight
provided by the program on the impact on health outcomes, workplace
productivity and the potential for reductions in medical costs; risks
and uncertainties related to the need for greater access to safe and
effective options to achieve the benefits of weight loss; and risks and
uncertainties related to collaborations between pharmaceutical
companies and payors providing a successful model for future
collaborations. These risks and uncertainties could cause actual
results to differ materially from those referred to in these
forward-looking statements. The reader is cautioned not to rely on
these forward-looking statements. Investors should read the risk
factors set forth in VIVUS's Form 10-K for the year ending December 31,
2012, as amended by the Form 10-K/A filed on April 30, 2013 and by the
Form 10-K/A filed on June 12, 2013, and periodic reports filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission. VIVUS does not undertake an
obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.
CONTACT: VIVUS, Inc.
Dana B. Shinbaum
Corporate Development & Investor Relations
Media Relations: GolinHarris
Investor Relations: The Trout Group