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A weight-loss jab could soon be available for obese people in the UK

By Brooke Villanueva Published Feb 09, 2022 1:08 pm

Obese people in the United Kingdom could soon have another way to lose weight for their health: a weekly injection dubbed Wegovy, which “makes people feel fuller, so they eat less, and not as hungry.”

According to BBC, the weight loss jab had a successful trial run on obese individuals, who ended up shedding a 10th of their body weight. Daily Mail stated that volunteers “reported improvement in their quality of life and a reduction in risk factors for developing disease and diabetes, such as reduced waist circumference, blood fats, blood sugar, and blood pressure.” 

Among the side effects found in initial studies were mild or moderate nausea and diarrhea. Researchers, however, emphasized that such didn’t last long for those who experienced it.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), a drug watchdog, has recommended its availability on the NHS (National Health Service). NICE indicated in its draft guidelines for England and Wales—which are still subject to full approval—that the injection must be prescribed by a specialist, to obese adults with at least one weight-related comorbidity, and for a maximum of two years. 

As for the procedure, BBC reported that people would make use of pre-filled pens to do the injection themselves. “Obese people should speak to their GP (general practitioner) about losing weight safely. Some manage it through diet and exercise alone,” the article noted. 

Daily Mail said there are around 12.4 million obese adults in the UK, with 1.3 million who are “morbidly obese.” 

Professor Rachel Batterham—an obesity expert who worked as a lead researcher for the project—referred to the findings in 2021 as a “major breakthrough for improving the health of people with obesity.”

“No other drug has come close to producing this level of weight loss. This really is a gamechanger,” she said. “For the first time, people can achieve through drugs what was only possible through weight-loss surgery.”