Shares of the Danish company rose a day after the drug was launched Wegovy in the UK, a treatment that has also been in huge demand in other countries. At the close of business on Monday, the company had a stock market valuation of US$428 billion. Wegovy is an obesity treatment that is injected once a week and provides people with a Feeling full, so patients eat less and lose weight. Well-known personalities using Wegovy include billionaire Elon Muskbut it is also popular among artists of hollywood and the general public in the US after the drug was approved by the US regulator in 2021. Both Wegovy and Ozempic, a treatment for diabetes with similar effects although not without controversy, have been described as “miracle” drugs. However, experts warn that injections are not a quick fix or a substitute for a healthy diet and exercise.
In tests, users often regained weight after stopping treatment.
“Victim of his own success”
Given the high demand for Wegovy, Novo Nordisk has had to make limited shipments to several countries as it works to ramp up manufacturing. Sophie Lund-Yates, principal equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said on the show Wake Up to Money from the BBC that Novo Nordisk was “very surprised” by the wide acceptance of the treatment, which put the company in a position of “victim of his own success”. “There are people who say we need to step back and make sure it’s used appropriately and responsibly. Of course, with a lot of fanfare for a drug you run the risk of many consequences down the road,” Lansdown said. In the UK, NHS guidelines say patients can only access Wegovy, which contains the drug. semaglutideif they have a Significant overweight and weight-related health problems.
According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), almost one in three adults in the UK is obese, which is the highest level in Europe.
In the United States, where according to data from the Food and Drug Administration the 70% of the adult population is obese or overweight, its consumption was approved in 2021 in combination “with a low-calorie diet and increased physical activity.” “Wegovy works by mimicking a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) that targets areas of the brain that regulate appetite and food intake,” the US regulator said when announcing its approval. Last month, a new trial showed that Wegovy reduces the risk of having a stroke or heart attack. Although the results of these studies have yet to be confirmed, experts agreed that the tests are potentially significant. Almost 100 years after its foundation in Denmark, Novo Nordisk is one of the global pharmaceutical giants. In 1923, it was one of the first companies to produce insulin for the treatment of diabetes, a condition related to obesity, which has been one of its main branches of treatment supply.
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