A drug which has reportedly been proven to help people lose weight has been approved for use by the UK's medicines watchdog.
Rather than an excuse to dive into an unhealthy lifestyle, the drug could be used to help obese and overweight people lose weight and has been approved for use alongside recommendations for diet and exercise.
Manufactured by pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, Tirzepatide mimics hormones which help people feel fuller after eating, in turn encouraging them to eat less and therefore lose weight.
A study of the drug, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine earlier this year, found that participants being given the highest dose of the drug lost a fifth of their body weight on average, with patients losing up to 12.9kg (2.03st) in a year. In comparison, those given a placebo drug in the trial lost just three percent of their body weight.
Researchers at the time described the injection as 'game-changing' for those with obesity, with the drug administered just once a week.
Following the study, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved the use of Tirzepatide for adults with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes.
A spokesperson commented: "We are pleased to confirm that we have authorised Mounjaro (tirzepatide) – a new class of treatment for adults with insufficiently controlled type 2 diabetes. No medicine would be approved unless it meets our expected standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.”
Of the more than 4.9 million people who have diabetes in the UK, 90 percent of those have type 2. Approximately 85 percent of that group are overweight or obese, with weight loss having the ability to help control diabetes.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is now assessing both the clinical and cost effectiveness of tirzepatide for patients, with the results of that assessment expected in April next year.
Dr Matthew Capehorn, a clinical manager at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, expressed his joy over the approval of the drug in a statement cited by The Telegraph, saying: “Living with type 2 diabetes is not easy and in practice we know that many people are not reaching their target blood glucose levels.
“I’m delighted that tirzepatide has been authorised in Great Britain, representing a new class of type 2 diabetes medication that can provide another treatment option for eligible patients.”
Studies of the drug have determined that it can help patients reach their weight loss goals faster than semaglutide, a similar drug which was approved for use on the NHS in February.
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