💊 New obesity breakthrough drugs
New weight loss drugs are taking the market by storm, promising to tackle obesity in a way that was previously impossible. With the potential to generate billions in sales and help millions of people, these breakthrough drugs are revolutionizing the fight against obesity.
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There are many medical goals that have been difficult to achieve. One of the biggest and most challenging goals has been developing drugs that can effectively treat obesity by helping people lose weight significantly without causing harmful side effects. Unfortunately, there have been many failed attempts to achieve this goal, and there is a long list of drugs that didn't work.
But now there seems to have been a breakthrough.
Some experts predict that Novo Nordisk, a Danish pharmaceutical company that produces the weight loss drug Wegovy, will earn between $3 billion and $4 billion from sales of the drug in America alone this year. The company also plans to introduce Wegovy to many other countries in the near future.
Another pharmaceutical company, Eli Lilly, is also working on a similar drug for obesity called Mounjaro (tirzepatide), which they plan to start selling as early as this summer.
In clinical trials, people who took Mounjaro lost an impressive average of 20% of their body weight.
According to Jefferies, an investment bank, the market for glp-1 agonist drugs (which includes Wegovy and Mounjaro) is expected to surpass $150 billion by 2031. This would put the market for these drugs on the same level as all cancer treatment drugs, which had sales of approximately $185 billion in 2021.
Obesity not just a problem in wealthy countries
Obesity is a major global problem that affects millions of everyday people.
In 2023, the World Obesity Federation estimates that 1.1 billion people over the age of five, or roughly 14 percent of all people in that age group, were obese.
An additional 1.6 billion people, or 24 percent of all over-fives, were overweight. It is getting worse. They estimate that by 2035 4 billion people could be overweight or obese.
Obesity is not only a problem in wealthy countries. In fact, the costs associated with obesity are increasing more rapidly in low- and middle-income countries than in high-income countries.
Eric Topol: A breakthrough
Eric Topol, an American cardiologist, scientist, and author, writes that this is a breakthrough, in an article with the subtitle, "I'm not using the term breakthrough lightly."
"We now have a breakthrough class of drugs that can achieve profound weight loss equivalent to bariatric surgery, along with the side benefits of reducing cardiovascular risk factors (hypertension and hyperlipidemia), improving glucose regulation, reversing fatty liver, and the many detrimental long-term effects of obesity such as osteoarthritis and various cancers. That, in itself, is remarkable. Revolutionary."
The Economist cover story: A new class of drugs for weight loss could end obesity
Eric Topol's deep dive: The New Obesity Breakthrough Drugs
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