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Orexigen's Contrave Prescription Growth Slowing, But Still Good

New prescription numbers have been released by IMS (see Table 1) for anti-obesity agents Contrave from Orexigen (NASDAQ:OREX), Belviq from Arena Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARNA), and Qsymia from Vivus (NASDAQ:VVUS). Contrave's 1.9% week-to-week improvement in total prescriptions (TRx) represents its slowest so far this year, which is understandable because Martin Luther King, Jr. Day occurred during the week that ended January 23. For the first time, however, it is also lower than the growth of Belviq, which may be enjoying a revival. Belviq TRx rose 3.5%, thanks in part to its new pricing by Arena's marketing partner Eisai (OTCPK:ESALY), which also took effect last week. Qsymia also posted a small 1.4% TRx gain. The two more established products had a better performance than last year's MLK period of -2.5% and - 4.4% declines, respectively. Contrave's launch entered Week 15 and the past two weeks show signs of slowing down. In fact, this is the first time, based on IMS data, that Contrave has lost TRx market share (see Figure 1), although the loss was miniscule (25.6% from…