Daily Management Review

In The Midst Of An Obesity Review, WHO Declares Wegovy And Other Weight Control Medications Are "No Silver Bullets"


In The Midst Of An Obesity Review, WHO Declares Wegovy And Other Weight Control Medications Are "No Silver Bullets"
According to the World Health Organization's nutrition chief, highly effective weight loosing medications like Novo Nordisk's Wegovy are not a "silver bullet" for tackling the sharp rise in global obesity rates, and that the organisation is conducting review of obesity management guidelines which is a first in over 20 years. 
According to Francesco Branca, director of nutrition and food safety at the World Health Organisation, the organisation is first updating recommendations for treating obese children and adolescents before updating advice for treating obese adults.
In 2000, the WHO last released global recommendations on the subject, which serve as a guide for nations without the means to create their own plans.
According to Branca, the WHO has assigned the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Milan, Italy, to evaluate the proof and data for the administration of all medication for children and adolescents, ranging from older alternatives such as GSK's Xenical to more recent more successful therapies like Wegovy and Eli Lilly and Co's Mounjaro.
“The kind of communication that has been done around these drugs – ‘We’ve found a solution’ – that’s wrong,” said Branca. Drugs for obesity are important but must be “part of a comprehensive approach,” he said. “This is not a silver bullet.”
Other therapies, such as food and exercise, remain important, according to Branca, in helping to manage obesity. According to the most recent WHO data, the percentage of children and adolescents aged 5 to 19 who are obese or overweight has climbed to slightly over 18% in 2016 from 4% in 1975, representing more than 340 million individuals.
A Reuters request for comment was not immediately responded to by Novo Nordisk or Eli Lilly.
Wegovy and Mounjaro had originally been created to assist regulate blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes. They have lately been demonstrated to assist people in losing roughly 15% of their body weight, catching the attention of patients, investors, and even celebrities.
They constitute a component of a class of medications known as GLP-1 agonists, and they function by influencing hunger signals to the brain and reducing the rate at which an individual's stomach empties, causing them to feel fuller for longer.
According to studies, people will need to take the medications for the rest of their lives to lose weight.
Wegovy has been authorised for weight loss in the United States and Europe, while Mounjaro is likely to be approved in the United States later this year. With as many as ten different medications on the market, the massive demand for the drugs is anticipated to be worth $100 billion in yearly sales within a decade.
US medical groups are also reviewing their obesity treatment guidelines to determine the optimal application of Wegovy along with comparable medications, with certain specialists promoting broad use whereas others suggest prioritising these medications for patients at greater risk with health conditions worsened by being overweight, such as diabetes or heart disease.
The American Academy of Paediatrics has endorsed taking such medications in children aged 12 and up who are obese, despite the fact that the long-term effects have yet to be researched.
According to the WHO, the updated recommendations will be founded on a stronger methodology than prior revisions and will include up-to-date science. By the close of this year, the first draught of the new management recommendations for children and adolescents is expected to be released.
Branca stated that the researchers at Mario Negri, as well as other universities collaborating on the guidelines, had been thoroughly screened to eliminate potential conflicts of interest.
Novo Nordisk was suspended from the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry earlier this year for alleged marketing practises such as sponsoring health professionals and offering training that the association claimed was meant to promote their medicine.
“We really screen the potential conflicts of interest,” said Branca.
He described obesity as a "rising epidemic".
"There are multiple reasons why we really have to take much more serious and bolder action,” he said.