When will we have a safe and effective prescription diet pill?

The first company that comes up with a effective drug for obesity is bound to make billions.

Prior failures notwithstanding, a trio of small pharmaceutical companies are trying to come up with the next great obesity pill. That means clinical studies are ongoing.

So, what’s it like to participate in such a trial? Ed Susman, a contributing writer at MedPage Today, was involved in one, and chronicled his experiences over the past year.

He still doesn’t know whether he was prescribed the active drug or placebo, but his BMI over the past year went from 36.8 to 30.1.

Here’s the piece:

And subsequently, his experience was also featured in a CNBC news report.

That said, it’s somewhat of a shame that patients are hoping that America’s obesity problem can be solved with a pill, when in fact, it’s both an improvement in diet and an increase in exercise that’s really needed.

It’s too bad that the incentives that motivate doctors today all encourage prescribing a pill, rather than spending the time to provide the counseling needed to institute these lifestyle changes.