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UK approves Eli Lilly’s weight loss injection pen to treat type 2 diabetes and obesity


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The drug can help reduce sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes as well as regulate a patient’s appetite

Eli Lilly’s weight-loss medicine Mounjaro, also known as tirzepatide, will be available in the UK within weeks as a four-dose pre-filled injection pen.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved the drug to treat adults with type 2 diabetes and for weight management in obese patients.

Branded as Mounjaro KwikPen, the injection is to be used together with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity, the regulator said.

“The public health importance of safe and effective treatments to help manage diabetes and obesity, which can have a significant impact on people’s health, is clear.

“This approval enables access to the approved Mounjaro pen in a more convenient presentation of a month’s treatment, of one dose per week,” said Julian Beach, MHRA Interim Executive Director, Healthcare Quality and Access.

Douglas Twenefour, Head of Care at Diabetes UK, expressed confidence that the MHRA’s approval will enable people living with type 2 diabetes, who are eligible, to access this effective treatment.

“Supporting people with type 2 diabetes to lose weight and manage their blood sugar levels is key to reducing the risk of diabetes-related complications, and tirzepatide (Mounjaro) expands the range of treatment options available to help people achieve this,” he added.

The weight loss drug will come as a four-dose pre-filled injection pen containing 2.5mg, 5mg, 7.5mg, 10mg, 12.5mg, and 15mg of tirzepatide per dose, which has to be injected under the skin of a patient’s stomach area, thigh or upper arm.

According to the MHRA, the treatment should start with 2.5mg dose once a week for four weeks, then increase it to 5mg once a week, and after a gap of at least four weeks, the dose may be increased to up to 15mg (maximum dose) once weekly, if recommended by the patient’s doctor.

Tirzepatide, which is the active ingredient in this drug, helps reduce sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes as well as regulates their appetite, making them feel less hungry and experience fewer food cravings, the regulator explained.

The approval of Mounjaro Kwikpen is based on the results of a study, which suggested that the multidose Mounjaro Kwikpen will be as effective as the single-dose Mounjaro pen that was approved based on the results of seven global clinical trials.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Laura Steele, president and general manager of Lilly UK, Ireland, and Northern Europe, said that the company would begin supplying the product to the UK within weeks.




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