This is the average weight loss for people taking Wegovy from Novo Nordisk.
These new drugs are among the most effective treatments for obesity. The drugs work by reducing appetite and food cravings. Ozempic is a Novo Nordisk diabetes drug that also caused weight loss. Wegovy is approved to treat obesity, but many patients want it. Mounjaro by Eli Lilly, which is approved to treat diabetes, will likely be approved soon to treat obesity. It helps people lose 20 percent on average of their body weight.
Obesity can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and other health conditions.
Many doctors and patients gave up on treating obesity because it was so hard.
Dr. David A. D'Alessio is the director of endocrinology and member of Eli Lilly's Scientific Advisory Board. He said that he initially resisted opening a weight loss clinic at Duke University. He said that patients who are told to exercise and diet "get defeated time and again."
He said he had changed his mind.
Ania Jastreboff, endocrinologist at Yale University, obesity medicine specialist, and consultant to the manufacturers of the new drugs, says that the KFF survey also shows a shift in attitudes about obesity. Most people are now interested in medical treatment after hearing for decades that weight loss was a simple matter of willpower.
She said that "previously" this was not the situation.
Specialists in obesity medicine say that new drugs, even more potent than Wegovy or Mounjaro, will change the prospects of people with obesity. This is something that researchers have been unable to do for decades.
Health economists believe that prices will fall as more drugs become available and the competition increases. Private insurers have also been pressed to pay, but many are not doing so at the moment. Medicare cannot pay for weight loss drugs by law, but there are intense lobbying efforts to change this.
The KFF survey revealed that many potential patients were resistant to injection. However, Dr. Robert F. Kushner is an obesity medicine specialist at Northwestern University Feinberg Medical School.
"In my opinion, a weekly injection is fine, since it only takes a minute and is much easier than people thought," said Dr. Kushner who sits on the Novo Nordisk advisory board.
Some companies are working on an oral form of the medication.
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