Weight-loss drug for obese patients approved for use in Ireland 

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A weight-loss drug that helped obese people lose 15% body-weight in studies has been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and will be available in Ireland.

Obesity affects more than a million people in Ireland and is the major contributing factor to type 2 diabetes affecting 200,000 people.

The EMA said: “Wegovy is used together with diet and physical activity to help people to lose weight and keep their weight under control.” 

Studies cited by the EMA found average weight loss for obese people of between 15% and 16%. 

They also relied on evidence from a study with 1,210 type 2 diabetes patients whose body mass index (BMI) was more than 27.

“After 68 weeks, those treated with Wegovy were able on average to lose 10% of their weight compared with a 3% loss in people who had placebo,” the EMA said.

Prescription-only availability

The drug is prescription-only, and long-term use is needed.

This move spells good news for Irish patients, said obesity specialist at St Vincent’s University Hospital Professor Carel le Roux.

“The unprecedented level of weight loss this medication achieves marks a new era in the treatment of this disease,” he said.

“Wegovy may be a foundation drug that can revolutionise the management of obesity.

“The drug was found to be safe and well-tolerated during trials, with the most common side effects including mild to moderate gastrointestinal upset.”

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