The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that they are considering adding weight loss medicines to their List of Essential Medicines. This could include GLP-1 receptor agonists, a class of drugs that are currently used to treat diabetes but have also shown promise in helping individuals lose weight. If GLP-1 receptor agonists are added to the List of Essential Medicines, it could help to increase manufacturing of these medicines and improve their accessibility.
Weight loss medicines, including GLP-1 receptor agonists, can be difficult to access and costly, particularly in low-income countries. Some argue that spike in demand could initially reduce accessibility to those in the US.
By adding these medications to the WHO List of Essential Medicines, their affordability and availability could increase in regions where access to necessary medicines is limited. This, in turn, could encourage pharmaceutical companies to manufacture more of these medications to meet the increased demand.
GLP-1 receptor agonists are a promising tool for weight loss and have already been approved for use in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. They work by mimicking a hormone called GLP-1, which stimulates insulin secretion and reduces appetite. Studies have shown that these medications can help people lose weight and may also have other health benefits, such as improving blood sugar control and reducing the risk of heart disease.
Improved access to GLP-1 receptor agonists will be critical for helping individuals struggling with weight issues to achieve their weight loss goals and improve their overall health. The potential impact of better access to these medications could also play a role in reducing the burden of obesity-related diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, particularly in regions where these conditions are more prevalent.