UK's obesity epidemic is the main driver behind a leap in numbers diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes
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The drug, tirzepatide, mimics two hormones that make people feel full after eating. A previous trial involving 2,500 patients found it helped more than half shed at least a fifth of their body weight – but it is not yet licensed for the treatment of obesity.

Today, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has given it the green light for patients whose Type 2 diabetes is not under control.
The decision was based on data from global studies which showed the game-changing medication can help diabetics improve their average blood glucose levels.
The drug, made by US pharmaceutical firm Lilly, will now be assessed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to decide whether it is to be offered on the NHS.
Obesity expert Dr Matthew Capehorn, of the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said: “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.”
Britain’s obesity epidemic is the main driver behind a leap in numbers diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes over the last 20 years. More than 4.9 million people in the UK have diabetes and 90 percent have Type 2.
Studies of tirzepatide found users saw much larger reductions in average blood glucose levels than patients given a placebo dose.
Participants in one trial who took the drug for 40 weeks lost between 17lbs and 27lbs depending on the dose, compared with an average loss of 14lbs for those given another weight loss drug called semaglutide, which is approved for NHS use.

If uncontrolled, diabetes can lead to serious complications such as sight loss, foot problems, heart attacks, strokes and kidney problems.
Douglas Twenefour, head of care at Diabetes UK, said: “Supporting people to manage their weight and blood sugar levels is key to preventing devastating complications of Type 2 diabetes.
“But we know this can often be a major challenge, so we welcome this latest treatment option.
“It is important that people with Type 2 diabetes have access to a wide range of effective treatments and support, and there should not be any barriers to newer medications that help manage this serious condition.”
The drug was approved in the US for Type 2 diabetes earlier this year.
Now Lilly says it plans to apply for it to be authorised in the US for treatment of obesity.

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