The US Food and Drug Administration has approved an injectable diabetes drug for long-term weight control.
"This under-the-skin injection is the first approved drug for chronic weight management in adults with general obesity or overweight since 2014," the FDA said in a statement Friday.
Studies have shown the once-a-week injection, called semaglutide, can help people lose up to 12% of their body weight over about a year and a half.
You've probably seen the ads on TV for Trulicity, which is basically the same drug. It's originally for Type II diabetes, and acts to increase insulin secretion. IMHO this was never a proper approach to begin with because if you're Type II you make insulin, but your cells are resistant to it, so the insulin you make doesn't promote the proper use of glucose in the blood; ergo, your blood sugar is too high.
Therefore the premise of the drug is basically "well, we have a fire which is comprised of the combustion of gasoline, it's not burning as it should, so throw more gas on it" without doing anything about the inhibition of the combustion process itself. It also inhibits the liver's metabolic processes that make and store glycogen from glucose, which is the only organ in the body that can take up, store glucose and then release it back into the blood (your muscles can store glycogen but cannot release it back into the bloodstream because there is an enzyme required to do that which is not in the muscles, but is in the liver.)
Yeah, you'll get more fire this way. But whatever caused the fire to not burn properly, if it's a progressive thing, will continue to progress and get worse. In other words over time the drug will stop working unless you use more of it, and as you use more of it you eventually run into a toxicity limit as with any drug.
There is a further potential problem with this drug -- it was found to cause dose and duration-dependent thyroid tumors in rodents. Whether this occurs in humans is not known. In fact this warning is prominently on the page for the drug before you can read the rest of it. I presume that's a "Black Box" warning on the actual package, but have not seen it myself to verify. I don't know about you but "possibly causes cancer" isn't something I choose to do when I have non-drug alternatives -- and there are alternatives.
It doesn't end with that either; there are also reports of kidney damage (renal failure) and other issues as well.
It's crucial to help patients living with obesity understand that "it's not their fault, and that it's not just about eating less and moving more," he said. "There's a medical adaptation that they need to understand like any other serious disease."
How about "stop eating carbs?"
I know, you need your pizza and pasta. I get it. The fries are too tempting. You can't live without them, or that pie.
The FDA approved the drug, as an addition to diet and exercise, based on phase 3 data showing Wegovy helped one-third of patients lose more than 20% of their body weight over the 68-week trial period. Patients without type 2 diabetes lost 17% to 18% of their weight on average.
That's a good number over a year and change but at what price?
Oh, let's talk about money for a minute... they haven't put it forward yet, but Forbes has a guess.
Novo Nordisk hasn’t revealed Wegovy’s list price, but hinted that it will be similar to the price of its drug Saxenda, a weight loss treatment that retails at $1,300 per month without insurance. Saxenda is said to help patients lose 5% of their body weight on average. In studies released by Novo Nordisk, participants taking Wegovy had an average weight loss of 15% of their body weight.
$1,300 a month or $15,600 a year "without insurance", which means someone's going to pay the $15,000 and it will either be you or it will be shoved off on other people through their premiums too. And Medicare, by the way, is barred by statute from covering weight loss medications and most Medicaid state programs refuse to cover these drugs as well.
Forbes, of course, being a mouthpiece for big pharma, thinks this should be covered.
Again, so you can eat your pasta.
But -- what happens if (and likely when) resistance builds exactly as it does for insulin? Have you basically dosed yourself, blown a huge amount of money and risked cancer and kidney failure for nothing? Yo-yo weight gain and loss is arguably much worse than being fat and staying that way; it certainly tends to screw with your metabolism, and if you don't change what you eat then if resistance develops you'll wind up putting it all back on in a few years.
If you instead change what you eat then you'll wake up in the morning and not be hungry, as I do. I lost more than 20% of my body mass in eight months, and while exercise was certainly part of it I have the data and the computation is not all that tough. The vast majority of the weight loss was from what I decided to eat, not the exercise -- and it's a lifestyle I've maintained.
That was 2011, it's 10 years later, I did not put the weight back on and I also took no risk of thyroid cancer, kidney failure or both as side effects doing it because I used no drugs in the process, nor do I use any prescription drugs today. Zero.
Oh, and I also didn't spend $15,000 a year either.
We live in a "push-button" world but popping a pill didn't work this time; no, it's a self-injecting stabber you use. That sounds awesome, doesn't it? Jab yourself weekly?
It'll be interesting to see how this works out, but I foresee problems and failure down the road.
Just stop eating the carbs folks. Seriously -- that's all you have to do and you'll have a very, very serious side effect. Never mind that at that price your pizza and pasta just got damnably expensive. $1,300 a month so you can eat spaghetti?
If you stop that crap your pants will fall off.
Mine did twice and I had to re-purchase my entire wardrobe going from an XL shirt to a Medium and a 34/36 pant to a 30.
Eight months to lose it folks and yes, over the next ten years the weight stayed off and I still wake up and typically don't have a desire to eat until somewhere around noon. Incidentally when you get to an appropriate weight you'll stop losing weight too even though in terms of what you eat you've changed nothing. Your body knows how to regulate itself with a precision you can never replicate through conscious thought and action, nor drugs -- you just have to stop destroying those metabolic mechanisms.