Weight-loss drugs have become a hot topic as public health officials and pharmaceutical companies seek solutions to the growing global obesity epidemic.
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An oral drug manufactured by Pfizer causes similar weight loss as the competing product and acts faster than this Novo NordiskThe blockbuster injection Ozempic has been developed, according to a peer-reviewed study of the results of phase 2 clinical trials published on Monday.
The results were presented at a medical conference late last year and did not compare Pfizer’s drug to Ozempic or other weight-loss drugs. JAMA Network is only now releasing a peer-reviewed study.
Pfizer’s study followed 411 adults with type 2 diabetes who took either the company’s pill, danuglipron, twice a day or a placebo.
The study found that patients taking a 120-milligram version of Danuglipron lost an average of about 10 pounds, or 4.60 kilograms, over the course of 16 weeks.
However, a phase III clinical trial of Ozempic found that adults taking a 1-milligram version of the injection lost about 9.9 pounds, or 4.53 kilograms, on average over 30 weeks. Patients take this shot once a week.
The results suggest that Danuglipron could be as effective as Ozempic for weight loss.
Pfizer’s drug could also offer an advantage over frequent injections as an oral treatment option.
Both Danuglipron and Ozempic belong to a class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 antagonists.
They mimic a hormone produced in the gut called GLP-1, which signals the brain when a person is full.
The drugs can also help people treat type 2 diabetes because they stimulate the release of insulin from the pancreas, thereby lowering blood sugar levels.
New York-based Pfizer is the latest pharmaceutical company to enter the blockbuster weight-loss drug market.
Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic and Wegovy have been in the national limelight in recent years as “miracles” for weight loss.
Hollywood stars, social media influencers and billionaire tech mogul Elon Musk have reportedly used the popular injections to shed unwanted weight.
But experts say the drugs could perpetuate a dangerous diet culture that idealizes weight loss and thinness.
Some patients who stop taking the medication also complain of weight gain that is difficult to control.
According to the National Institutes of Health, more than two in five adults suffer from obesity. About one in eleven adults suffers from severe obesity.
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