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updated 5/10/2012 4:46:47 PM ET 2012-05-10T20:46:47

Advisers to government health regulators have recommended that that they approve sales of what would be the first new prescription weight-loss drug in the U.S. in more than a decade, despite concerns over cardiac risks.

A panel of expert advisers to the Food and Drug Administration voted 18-4 to recommend approval of lorcaserin, developed by Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. They concluded that its benefits "outweigh the potential risks when used long term" in overweight and obese people. One panel member abstained from voting.

Lorcaserin is one of three experimental weight-loss drugs whose developers have been trying for a second time to get approved, after the FDA shot them all down in 2010 or early 2011.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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