Governments of low- and middle-income countries are guided when making purchasing decisions by the List of Essential Medicines.
Next month, a committee of WHO advisers will review the new applications to include drugs, and an updated list is scheduled for release in September, while doctors have applied to include drugs for obesity.
Sickness of the Century
The therapeutic nutrition consultant, Bahaa Naji, talks about the dangers of obesity, although it is a non-communicable disease, and its relationship to other diseases. He tells Sky News Arabia:
- Obesity is the first cause of most acute and chronic diseases. What requires a global strategy to combat it.
- According to the World Health Organization, the number of obese people doubles; More than 650 million adults suffer from it, which is three times the rate for 1975.
Clinical nutritionist Germaine Atef adds that obesity causes atherosclerosis, heart disease and diabetes.
Accordingly, the clinical nutritionist describes obesity in her interview with “Sky News Arabia” as a “disease of the age”, and is not related to the individual’s income level, but rather affects everyone.
What is the expected treatment?
3 doctors and a researcher in the United States submitted a request to study the inclusion of anti-obesity drugs, and the request includes the active ingredient “liraglutide” in the drug “Saxenda” produced by the “Novo Nordisk” company, whose exclusive use rights will soon expire; This will allow the production of less expensive types of it.
Saxenda is used to regulate weight, along with diet and exercise, and it works on the brain to control appetite.
Bahaa Naji explains the following about the active ingredient in this drug, which is the hormone “liraglutide”, which is naturally secreted by the intestines after eating meals, and gives signals to the brain about satiety:
- The problem is that there are enzymes inside the body that get rid of this hormone after two minutes of its secretion.
- The company “Novonordex” modified the hormone protein to make it last 13 hours, and it is taken by injection under the skin once a week.
- After the World Health Organization and the European Food and Drug Organization approved Saxenda, the treatment began to be circulated, but with a prescription.
- It is not recommended for people with thyroid cancer or a family history of the disease. Therefore, it is recommended to do tests before using the drug.
- If the decision is adopted, this will open the way for obesity drugs to be introduced under the umbrella of health insurance. This will guarantee its quality and eliminate the random spread of illegal drugs. Thus reducing the incidence of obesity and its diseases.
Treatment is not the only solution
Germaine Atef points out that the best solution to treat obesity is not only medicine, but prevention and radical solutions are through:
- Accustom citizens to adhere to a healthy life based on balanced eating, sports and physical exertion.
- As for medicines, they are dispensed only in cases that do not respond to natural methods alone.
- For those who take medications, the clinical nutritionist warns against using them except in the case of necessity, and it is forbidden to use them without medical supervision.
Specialists are optimistic about the possibility of providing better medicines to low- and middle-income countries if the World Health Organization includes the drug “Saxenda” and similar medicines on the list, saying that this “will constitute a new approach for the organization towards obesity.”
That may pave the way for recommending a newer, more powerful drug from Novo Nordisk, Wegovi, to low- and middle-income countries, but some public health experts warn that these drugs are being offered too broadly as a solution to a complex and poorly understood condition.
#Disease #Age #add #medicines #list #World #Health #Organization