Prescription Data Show Low Adoption of Weight Loss Meds
(HealthDay News) — The adoption rate of the newest antidiabetes pharmacotherapy, subtype 2 sodium-glucose transport protein inhibitors (SGLT2s), is considerably higher than that of antiobesity pharmacotherapies, according to research published online Aug. 29 in Obesity.
Catherine E. Thomas, from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, and colleagues conducted a retrospective analysis of data from 2012 to 2015 to characterize the adoption of antiobesity pharmacotherapies and SGLT2s.
The researchers found that the number of antidiabetes prescriptions dispensed was 15-fold higher than the number of dispensed antiobesity prescriptions. The antiobesity market share was 74.0 and 18.6 percent for phentermine and new antiobesity pharmacotherapies, respectively. Per month, the mean increases in prescriptions were 25,259 for SGLT2s, 5,154 for new antiobesity pharmacotherapies, and 2,718 for phentermine. The majority of medications were prescribed by family medicine/general practice and internal medicine specialties. The highest prevalence of prescribers of any subspecialty was endocrinology.
"The adoption rate of SGLT2s was nearly exponential, while the adoption rate of new antiobesity pharmacotherapies was linear," the authors write. "Considering the relative prevalence of obesity to diabetes and that obesity is a major cause of diabetes, these results are paradoxical and suggest systematic barriers against the prescribing of antiobesity pharmacotherapies."
Several study and editorial authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.