Novo Nordisk’s Saxenda dominates local obesity market

Lee Han-soo  Published 2019.06.12  14:16  Updated 2019.06.12 14:16


Novo Nordisk's Saxenda (ingredient: liraglutide), the world's first and only drug for treating obesity with glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), has achieved the top spot in the domestic obesity market in the first quarter of this year.

Novo Nordisk's obesity treatment Saxenda

According to IQVIA, a global health research firm, Saxenda claimed a 32.7 percent share in the local obesity drug market in the first quarter of 2019 by raking in about 32 billion won ($27 million), up 20.8 percent from the previous quarter.

Saxenda is the world's first glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) analog obesity treatment that increases the feeling of fullness to help control appetite and to reduce hunger and food intake, leading to weight loss. The drug has gotten immensely popular in Korea since its launch in March 2018. In the early days of its launch, several hospitals had a hard time prescribing the medication due to its popularity.

In a large scale SCALE (Satiety and Clinical Adiposity - Liraglutide Evidence) clinical trial consisting of four studies participated in by 5,358 patients, the company proved both the weight loss effect and maintenance effect of the drug.

Novo Nordisk said Saxenda was also the only obesity drug that not only improved the risk of cardiovascular events but also demonstrated weight loss and improved blood sugar levels in the pre-diabetes stage.

"As a leader in the treatment of obesity, Novo Nordisk will strive to correct the prejudice on obesity rather than focusing only on marketing Saxenda, and will help to support the medical management of obesity," Novo Nordisk Korea General Manager Rana Azfar Zafar said.

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