Adapted from BMJ 12 Feb 2022
NICE are recommending that the anti diabetes drug Semiglutide is used for its anorexic properties in non diabetics who meet certain criteria.
Trials have found that patients given diet and exercise advice plus Semiglutide lost 12% more weight than lifestyle advice alone.
The drug is given in a weekly, self administered injection. My comment: I have used similar drugs with my type two patients and they were all surprised at how easy this was to do and how effective the drug was as an appetite suppressant.
To be considered for the treatment you have to have a BMI of at least 35 and have a related co-morbidity.
If you have a BMI between 30 and 34.9 you may be eligible for the drug if you are of South Asian, Chinese, black African or Caribbean family background or if you have been referred to a tier 3 weight loss service. This is because the drug is cheaper and safer than bariatric surgery and also because certain ethnic groups are more at risk of co-morbidity at lower BMIs than those of white European ancestry.
My comment: I can envisage that there will be huge market for this drug. One issue is that patients tend to regain weight on stopping and I understand that newcomers are expected to stay on the drug for two years.