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Thursday, June 13, 2024
Thursday June 13, 2024
Thursday June 13, 2024

NHS to offer powerful weight loss jab for dangerously obese individuals

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A new injection, Mounjaro, helped obese individuals shed a fifth of their weight; concerns raised over side effects and NHS budget constraints

The National Health Service (NHS) has approved a potent weight loss injection, Mounjaro, for individuals classified as dangerously obese, following successful trials where participants lost a significant portion of their weight. The injection, administered weekly, offers promising results but is not without side effects, including nausea and potential loss of muscle mass. Moreover, experts anticipate potential NHS rationing due to budget constraints.

According to trials, Mounjaro has demonstrated remarkable efficacy, enabling obese individuals to lose up to 21% of their body weight within 72 weeks. Previously approved for some individuals with Type 2 diabetes, Mounjaro’s expanded application marks a significant development in obesity management. The injection targets appetite suppression by mimicking key hunger-regulating hormones, particularly glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), with the added effect of targeting another hormone called GIP to enhance appetite control.

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However, concerns have been raised about the injection’s affordability within the NHS budget, as well as the long-term implications of its use. Prof Sir Stephen O’Rahilly from Cambridge University highlights the immediate financial challenge posed by the injection’s cost, especially amid tight NHS budgets. Despite the immediate expense, O’Rahilly emphasizes the long-term benefits of GLP-1 drugs in reducing the risks of developing severe complications such as Type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, and kidney failure.

While acknowledging the importance of creating environments less conducive to obesity through political will and societal changes, O’Rahilly underscores the necessity of medical interventions for individuals with a strong inherent predisposition to obesity. He emphasizes the potential lifelong necessity of GLP-1 drugs for weight management, as discontinuation without significant lifestyle changes may result in weight regain.

The approval of Mounjaro for dangerously obese individuals reflects a new era in obesity management, offering hope for effective treatment alongside the ongoing need for broader societal and policy changes to address the root causes of obesity.

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