Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca, has cautioned that patients who use popular weight-loss medications like Wegovey risk losing muscle mass.
Hundreds of thousands of people are currently using obesity medications, such as Wegovy, which imitates a hormone to mislead the body into feeling full.
But according to the Telegraph, Soriot urged pharmaceutical companies to design their products to target “more fat and less muscles” and issued a warning to patients.
“You lose weight today, but you also lose muscle and fat. Being that obesity is a chronic illness, the issue with many of the therapies is that you gain weight again when you stop.
According to Soriot, “most people regain fat as soon as they stop taking the medicines, but not so much the muscle that they have lost unless, of course, they go to the gym.”
Additionally, he requested that pharmaceutical companies “improve the quality” of weight reduction medications in order to extend their half-lives and better target fat loss.
This occurs as numerous studies have identified various hazards connected to these widely used medications, such as Saxenda, Rybelsus, and Ozempic.
According to a JAMA study, GLP-1 agonists, which were first created to treat Type-2 diabetes, have been linked to a higher chance of developing severe illnesses like pancreatitis, intestinal blockage, and stomach paralysis.
Because of reports from certain users that it causes suicidal thoughts, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) decided to look into the possible risks associated with it.
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University examined nearly two million patients with type 2 diabetes or obesity and found no evidence to substantiate the EMA’s fear that semaglutide could lead to suicidal thoughts.
Experts predict that the obesity treatments market will reach a valuation of $90 billion (74 billion pounds) in the next several years due to the surge in demand.
According to Soriot, there may be an increase in plastic packaging due to this enormous demand, which could cause environmental issues. “One billion individuals using one plastic pen every week is a significant amount of plastic. There will eventually be a problem with all these plastic pens.”
AstraZeneca is creating its own weight-loss medications in the meanwhile in an effort to outpace competitors with a novel, maybe less expensive obesity medication. In November, the Chinese biotech startup Eccogene and the well-known corporation known for its Covid vaccination reached an agreement that may potentially be valued up to 1.6 billion pounds for an experimental medication.
According to the report, Soriot stated that AstraZeneca is working on “the next generation and the next wave” of therapies for diabetes and obesity, and that the goal is to develop medications that can be used in less developed nations as well as in Western ones.
He went on to say that AstraZeneca will be combining its medications to treat additional weight-related conditions including heart disease or hypertension.