A new obesity treatment was launched in the UK yesterday, providing hope for severely overweight patients.
The new Sanofi-Aventis drug, Acomplia, blocks receptors involved in the metabolism of glucose and fat and has been approved for overweight and obese patients, alongside diet and exercise, according to PharmaTimes.
The drug is particularly aimed at patients with high cholesterol and hypertension, which can lead to type two diabetes and cardiovascular problems, and has been shown to dramatically reduce overall body weight and waist circumference.
Sanofi-Aventis' managing director, Nigel Brooksby, told Reuters that the launch had been a success.
"The UK launch has certainly met our expectations," he said. "The qualitative information we are receiving is that it is getting a very good reception."
Mr Brooksby added that the drug's support stems largely from the UK's need to address the issue of obesity, which costs around £4 billion a year.
The number of obese people in the UK has quadrupled over the last 25 years and diabetes, a disease that commonly accompanies obesity, accounts for around ten per cent of the UK's healthcare budget.
Although the drug is relatively cheap – costing £55 for a month's supply – it is yet to be approved for the NHS and patients wishing to benefit from the drug must currently seek private treatment.