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Mar 22

New weight-loss drug approved for use in Ireland –

A new drug which can dramatically reduce body weight has been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA)for use in Ireland and across Europe.

The drug, known as Wegovy, is delivered by weekly injection and is used together with diet and physical activity to help people to lose weight and keep their weight under control.

Studies have found that Wegovy can lead to weight loss of around 20 per cent of body fat in one year.

Dr. Conor O'Shea, the HSE's clinical lead on obesity, has said that the approval of the drug for use in Ireland is "exciting".

Obesity affects more than one million people in Ireland and is the main cause of type 2 diabetes, which accounts for over 10 per cent of the country's healthcare budget.

Although the new drug is expensive, it is believed that its use will save the health service money in the long run.

"Certainly of the order of several hundred Euros per month," Dr O'Shea told Newstalk.

"We need it to be covered by the HSE for people who will benefit from it because this medication will strop you from developing some of the complications of obesity like type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

"So ultimately that is going to be very cost-effective."

According to Dr O'Shea, although the drug has been used to treat diabetes for over a decade and is safe, it will not be the right treatment for everyone.

"What we need to do is use it in the right individuals so, those who have obesity and complications from their obesity because there is lots of people who are either over weight or have obesity and don't have any health complications," Dr O'Shea explained.

"They are not the people who will need this treatment."

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New weight-loss drug approved for use in Ireland -

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