Friday Feedback: Expanding Options to Treat Obesity

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Friday Feedback: Expanding Options to Treat Obesity

Faced with a patient with obesity and potentially a life-threatening disease, the willingness of the doctor to help would not be substantially different than the willingness to treat diabetes or high blood pressure. On the other hand, the current ‘plethora’ is just today’s special. At any point in the last hundred years there have been scores or more of popular weight loss programs and protocols. While the vast majority are built on the theme of ‘eat less and exercise more,’ they layer on gimmicks and protocols, restrictive regimens and point counting, free foods and supplements. Multiple studies would support that the diet program that works is the one that the patient can follow. Just as there is an incredible variety of patients, so is there such a variety of diets. The trick, if there is one, is to find the right program for the right patient.”
 No Magic Pill
Aidar Gosmanov, MD: “There are actually no prospective phase IV trials to really weigh cost-effectiveness of the new weight-loss medications. So far, the initial industry-sponsored trials clearly defined only one health benefit from the use of recent expensive weight-loss medications — prevention of diabetes. However, even that success was not compared with the effectiveness of less-expensive over-the-counter medications. Obesity is a chronic disease and the risks of adverse effects of the new weight-loss medications are high. Considering that the registration trials lasted no more than 2 to 3 years, it is too premature to declare that new medications offer any health care cost benefit in the long war against obesity.” Read more…

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