Obesity Drug Outcome Measures: Results of a Multi-Stakeholder Critical Dialogue

Scott Kahan, Christine Ferguson, Stephanie David, Lucas Divine

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


There has been great interest in what role drugs should play in the treatment of obesity. Given the complex and multifactorial nature of obesity, drugs represent a valuable adjunct to traditional obesity treatments. However, obesity drugs present specific regulatory challenges, due to the sheer number of individuals affected, the heterogeneity of how obesity affects individuals differently, and the potential for drugs to be misused, especially by those seeking or profiting from cosmetic weight loss. There is a need to refine the characterization of the individuals most at risk from obesity to better assess the balance of benefits versus risks and determine appropriate candidates for drug therapy. As obesity affects feeling, functioning, and survival, outcome measures that reflect improvement in these domains should be explicitly incorporated into regulatory guidance. Regulators could benefit from mechanisms that limit or closely monitor off-label use and thereby allow approval of drugs for narrowly indicated populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-133
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent obesity reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Drugs
  • FDA
  • Feeling
  • Food and drug administration
  • Function
  • Obesity
  • Outcome measures
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Regulation
  • Regulatory
  • Survival
  • Weight
  • Weight-loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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