US health authorities said on Wednesday they approved a long-awaited anti-obesity drug from US group Eli Lilly. It is the latest newcomer to a market that has become of great importance to the pharmaceutical industry.
The drug, which is marketed in the United States under the name Zepbound, is administered as an injection once a week. The molecule used was already approved against diabetes, but some doctors prescribed the drug without considering official weight loss recommendations because it was effective.
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The drug, which is administered weekly by injection, mimics the effect of two intestinal hormones (GLP-1 and GIP) to suppress hunger and possibly also increase the body’s energy expenditure. Patients who received a low dose during the clinical trial lost an average of 15 percent, or almost 16 pounds, of their weight. At the highest dose, weight loss was up to 21 percent, or an average of just under 23 pounds.