Novo Nordisk launches weight-loss drug, Saxenda

Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk has launched its own weight-loss drug, Saxenda — and at upwards of $1,000 a month, it isn’t going to be cheap.

The drug — an injectable called liraglutide previously used for diabetes — is for chronic weight management in adults with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 30 kg/m2, or for those with a BMI of more than 27 kg/m2 and at least one weight-related medical condition. It should be used as an “adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity,” according to a press release from Novo Nordisk.

The FDA approved liraglutide for overweight and obese adults late last year, even as there were concerns about drug-related adverse events. A recent investigation by MedPage Today and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found that Saxenda may increase the risk of pancreatitis. The FDA will require postmarketing testing of the drug.
Saxenda follows several other drugs aimed at weight loss, including phentermine/topiramate (Qsymia), lorcaserin (Belviq), and bupropion latrexone (Contrave).

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