Objective: To determine how obesity treatment specialists use pharmacotherapy for treating obesity. To determine what drugs are being used in what doses and for what durations.

Date of Research Idea: October 2007.

Collaborators: Frank L. Greenway, M.D., Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University; Richard B. Rothman, M.D., Ph.D., National Institute of Drug Abuse.

Description: An online survey of members of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians, a national medical society of physicians who practice obesity medicine.

Funding: American Society of Bariatric Physicians.


·      97% of U.S. bariatric medicine physicians use anti-obesity drugs in treating obesity and 98% of those use phentermine as their first choice.

·      A majority of these physicians use anti-obesity drugs long-term.

·      A majority of these physicians use the drugs at higher doses that the FDA has approved.

Presented at:

·      Hendricks EJ. ASBP Membership Survey of Prescribing Practices. 58th Annual Obesity & Associated Conditions Symposium. Tampa, Florida: American Society of Bariatric Physicians, 2008.

·      Hendricks EJ, Greenway FL, Westman EC, Bland J, Richardson L, Pavich R et al. A Survey of Prescribing Practices of Medical Bariatricians. Obesity Society Annual Scientific Meeting 2008.


·      Hendricks EJ, Rothman RB, Greenway FL. How physician obesity specialists use drugs to treat obesity. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2009; 17(9): 1730-5.

Elapsed time: ~ 2 years

Significance: Documented real world standard of practice for an important aspect of obesity treatment