ASBP Recommends Kansas Modify Obesity Medication Rules

Oct 19, 2010, 15:43 ET from The American Society of Bariatric Physicians

DENVER, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to the alarming increase in the overweight and obese population in Kansas, a representative of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians (ASBP) recently testified to the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts. ASBP is America's oldest and most experienced society devoted to the medical treatment of overweight and obesity and associated health conditions and risks. David Bryman, DO, a member of both ASBP and the American Board of Bariatric Medicine, reviewed the current rules governing the use of prescription medication to treat overweight and obese patients in the state of Kansas.

The current rules in Kansas that apply to physicians prescribing weight loss medication have been in effect for more than 12 years. These rules prohibit physicians from prescribing controlled substances for weight loss after three months if a patient has not responded to treatment by decreasing their weight by at least five percent. The ASBP suggested removing the three-month limit as many patients may take longer than this to respond to weight loss medication.

In addition, the current rules consider patients appropriate for treatment if their body mass index (BMI) exceeds a certain level.  ASBP recommended that the controlled substances for weight loss should not be restricted to only those who fit these criteria. Dr. Bryman presented other criteria for treatment that would allow bariatric physicians to intervene earlier with patients who have a higher fat percentage. It would also allow bariatric physicians to prevent weight regain in patients who have previously lost weight. All of these measures would assist physicians in combating the obesity epidemic.

"Many physicians have been hesitant to prescribe medication for weight loss since the fen/phen fiasco in the 1990's.  However, more than 60,000 research articles have been published since that time, many of which attest to the safety of medicine to treat obesity," said Dr. Bryman. Based on this research, the ASBP believes that diet and exercise alone rarely work for treatment in overweight and obese patients. This is evidenced by the exponential growth of the obesity epidemic in Kansas.

The Kansas State Board of Healing Arts was presented with a document recently produced by ASBP called "Overweight and Obesity Evaluation and Management." According to Dr. Bryman, this document is a well-researched paper that truly reflects the most effective treatment and management of overweight and obese patients.

ASBP agreed with most of the current rules governing physicians' multifaceted treatment of obesity in the state of Kansas. Medication must be prescribed carefully to select patients in conjunction with a healthy diet, behavior modification, exercise, and in some extreme cases surgical intervention.  

Dr. Bryman stated that he has enormous respect for the members of the Kansas Medical Board as they have a daunting task of balancing public safety while not being too restrictive on rules that prohibit physicians from effectively treating the obesity epidemic. The ASBP believes the proposed rule changes would allow the physician to treat patients more effectively without the fear of compromising safety concerns.

About the ASBP

Founded in 1950, the ASBP is the oldest medical association focused on the education and training of medical professionals treating and managing obese patients and associated diseases. The ASBP is a collaborative organization that provides its members practical information and business tools to implement a successful medical bariatric practice. For more information about the ASBP, visit www.asbp.org.

SOURCE The American Society of Bariatric Physicians



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