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Aetna's recent decision to cover prescriptions for Arena's Belviq is not an isolated event. Two important policy shifts at the federal level paved the way, and the policy shifts also bode well for more private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid coverage of prescription weight-loss drugs, including Belviq and Vivus, Inc.'s Qsymia. The trajectory in prescription coverage is due to a national imperative to cut massive health costs caused by obesity-related disease and disability, and the FDA's approval of Belviq and Qsymia this summer.

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