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Obesity is arguably the most important health problem of the developed world in the early 21st century. Despite many attempts to develop safe and effective weight loss medications, the history of pharmacotherapy for obesity is unfortunately littered with failures.1 Most recently, the finding of higher rates of cardiovascular events in the multi-centre European SCOUT (Sibutramine Cardiovascular OUtcomes Trial) has led the European Medicines Agency to recommend that sibutramine be removed from the market in the EU. Nevertheless, the potential market for weight loss agents is substantial. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogues are a new class of agents developed originally for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and noted to produce modest weight loss.2 Astrup and colleagues tested the second agent in this class, liraglutide, for the treatment of obesity.
The study randomised 564 …
Competing interests AGT has received an unrestricted grant from GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare for an epidemiological study of obesity and co-morbid medical conditions in the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey in the USA.