Weight-loss jabs gain ground as potential ‘new statin’ for heart care

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Wegovy: Breakthrough weight-loss injection approved for heart disease treatment.

NEW YORK, March 25: Regulators in the US have given the green light to Wegovy, a groundbreaking weight-loss injection, as a treatment for heart disease, sparking hopes that it could become as ubiquitous as statins in preventing cardiovascular issues.

The approval follows a landmark trial revealing that the drug, also known as semaglutide, could reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke by approximately 20% among individuals with obesity. This development holds significant promise for the estimated 50,000 obese individuals in the UK, including those with weight-related heart problems, who are already eligible for Wegovy through the NHS.

Notably, the potential expansion of access to Wegovy may extend to thousands more individuals with heart disease who may be overweight but not obese. Novo Nordisk, the pharmaceutical company behind the drug, has asked the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to consider broadening the eligibility criteria.

Renowned obesity expert Prof. Naveed Sattar of the University of Glasgow emphasized that semaglutide is gaining attention from cardiologists as a viable treatment for cardiovascular disease. Moreover, Prof. David Strain from the University of Exeter drew parallels with statins, suggesting that, pending further research, semaglutide could eventually be recommended across a broader spectrum of patients, similar to the widespread use of statins for heart health.

Semaglutide, marketed under the brand name Ozempic for treating type 2 diabetes, functions by curbing appetite and enhancing insulin production. However, Prof. Strain highlighted emerging evidence suggesting that the drug’s benefits for the heart may extend beyond weight loss alone. The precise mechanisms through which semaglutide aids heart health remain under investigation.

A spokesperson from Novo Nordisk anticipates a decision from the MHRA on the drug’s expanded use later this year, marking a potentially significant step forward in cardiovascular treatment.

This news has been read 1131 times!

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