New Delhi: Obesity is a chronic disease that affects millions of people worldwide and increases the risk of many serious health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and COVID-19. However, losing weight and keeping it off can be very challenging for many people, despite their best efforts.
That’s why the recent approval of Wegovy, a new weight-loss drug from Novo Nordisk, is generating a lot of excitement and hope among people living with obesity and their doctors. Wegovy is the first and only once-weekly injection that helps people lose weight by reducing their hunger and calorie intake. It is based on a hormone called GLP-1 that is naturally produced by the body.
Wegovy has shown remarkable results in clinical trials, helping people lose an average of about 15% of their body weight, almost double the rates achieved by other prescription drugs. It also improved other health measures, such as blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Wegovy has a safe and well-tolerated profile, with the most common side effects being gastrointestinal.
Wegovy is approved for adults with obesity or overweight who have at least one weight-related health condition, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. It is intended to be used along with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity. It is not recommended for people with type 2 diabetes who have a history of eye problems or people who have had thyroid cancer or certain endocrine disorders.
Wegovy is now available in the US, where it was launched in June 2021. It is also expected to be launched in Germany, the first big European market, later this month. However, the drug is not cheap: it costs about $1,300 per month in the US, and may not be covered by insurance plans. In Germany, patients will have to pay about 500 euros per month out of pocket, as public health insurance does not cover obesity treatments.
Novo Nordisk hopes that Wegovy will help change the perception and treatment of obesity as a serious and chronic disease that requires long-term management. The company also plans to conduct more studies to evaluate the long-term effects and benefits of Wegovy on cardiovascular outcomes and mortality.
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