Huge Wind Turbine Rotor

Big Changes in Drugs for Diabetes and Obesity

Some big changes are in the wind for drugs that treat diabetes and obesity. The biggest selling diabetes drug in the world — Lautus — is facing competition from a lower-priced, biosimilar form of this long-acting form of insulin. Newer drugs like Jardiance (empagliflozin) and Victoza (liraglutide) are growing robustly, valued for their profile for treating type 2 diabetes without causing any weight gain. In fact, empaglifozin can lead to a little weight loss and a high dose form of liraglutide (Saxenda) is approved by FDA for treating obesity.

A decade ago, the biggest selling drug for type 2 diabetes was GSK’s Avandia, which actually caused weight gain. When Avandia ran into safety issues, Takeda’s Actos — also with potential for causing weight gain — took Avandia’s place for a time. But now, Actos has faded to irrelevance and Takeda has announced that it is walking away from R&D for diabetes and other metabolic diseases.

Ten years ago, weight was almost ignored in treating type 2 diabetes. But now it seems to be a consideration of growing, if not central, importance. Research is bringing more diabetes drugs with beneficial weight effects to the market. And with ties to both type 2 diabetes and obesity treatment, Saxenda is enjoying good initial success in its launch for treating obesity. ConscienHealth founder Ted Kyle described the challenges for new obesity treatments to MM&M:

Obesity is a complex, chronic disease that’s deeply misunderstood by the public and healthcare professionals. Poor coverage and limited options have made progress slow.

It has indeed been slow going, but now the progress is becoming more and more obvious.

Click here to read more from MM&M. Click here to read more from Medscape.

Huge Wind Turbine Rotor, photograph © Amit Gupta / flickr

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January 31, 2016

2 Responses to “Big Changes in Drugs for Diabetes and Obesity”

  1. February 01, 2016 at 7:47 am, Allen Browne said:


    Thanks for this article. It’s a different way of looking at things – different from how I as a weight management physician look at things. But something I need to understand. Many pieces to the puzzle of how to help the children and their families.

    • February 01, 2016 at 7:51 am, Ted said:

      Thanks, Allen. I’m glad it’s useful. Things are, ever so slowly, moving in a good direction.