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Surprising Science

Fighting Fat

A new anti-obesity drug has proved successful in trials with fewer side effects than traditional treatments. But could cost limit its use?

“People taking the highest dose of a new anti-obesity drug lost more than a stone in weight in 20 weeks,” reports The Independent. “The amount of weight lost was almost three times that in a control group given a placebo and 50 per cent more than those given a rival treatment, which is the current brand leader for the treatment of obesity. The drug, liraglutide, is the first of a new class of anti-obesity agents which mimic the action of a hormone that occurs naturally in the gut, reducing hunger. Experts said it had ‘great potential’ because it also reduced the risk factors for Type 2 diabetes and heart disease…But they warned that the high cost of the drug – around £500 [in the UK where its being tested] for six months’ supply at the lowest dose – could limit its use.”


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