Posted on October 22, 2017

Novo Nordisk has launched Saxenda® (liraglutide 3 mg) in Qatar. Saxenda® is the first once-daily glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist for chronic weight management. It is indicated in Qatar as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adults with obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m2) or who are overweight (BMI ≥27 kg/m2) in the presence of at least one weight-related comorbidity1.

According to World Health Organisation, around 72.2% of adults in Qatar are currently overweight, 34% are living with obesity2. Many of these people suffer from weight-related comorbidities such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, along with emotional distress and anxiety often associated with this disease2.

“Qatar has some of the highest levels of metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes mellitus in the region” said Dr Abdulla Al Hamaq, Executive Director of QDA. “With the high prevalence of these diseases, it is very likely that our population will suffer from a variety of complications caused by them. Therefore, we support innovation in the medical sector that helps treat these issues in our society”. “Significant clinical benefits and improvements in comorbidities can be seen with a weight reduction of 5-10% of body weight,” said Dr. Stephen Atkin, Professor Of Medicine at Weil Cornell Medical college and consultant endocrinologist at Hamad Medical Corporation in Doha. “For some patients, a treatment option like Saxenda® alongside diet and increased physical activity could be a real option for the long-term management of obesity” confirmed Dr. Atkin

New treatment for obesity now 2 [].jpgSaxenda® was evaluated in the SCALE™ (Satiety and Clinical Adiposity−Liraglutide Evidence in Nondiabetic and Diabetic people) phase 3 clinical programme, which involved more than 5,000 people who have obesity or who are overweight with weight-related comorbidities. Trial data showed that Saxenda®, in combination with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity, resulted in significantly greater weight loss in some patients than a reduced-calorie diet and physical activity alone. “For people with obesity, it is not just about losing weight, it is about gaining health and enjoying better lives,” said Dr. Akin Aksekili, General Manager Novo Nordisk Gulf Emerging Markets. “Novo Nordisk is pleased to offer a new treatment option that can help people to achieve clinically meaningful weight loss. This is an important milestone in our long-term commitment to obesity” added Dr. Aksekili.

It is important that people living with obesity work closely with their physicians to develop sustainable strategies for chronic weight management3. When assessing treatment options, a person’s readiness to lose weight should be considered along with their cardiovascular disease profile, dietary habits and concomitant diseases4.

About obesity

Obesity is a disease5 that requires long-term management. It is associated with many serious health consequences and decreased life-expectancy6,7. Obesity-related comorbidities include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and certain types of cancer6, 8,9. It is a complex and multi-factorial disease that is influenced by genetic, physiological, environmental and psychological factors10.     

About Saxenda®  

Saxenda® (liraglutide 3 mg) is a once-daily glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogue with 97% similarity to naturally occurring human GLP-1, a hormone that is released in response to food intake11. Like human GLP-1, Saxenda® regulates appetite by increasing feelings of fullness and satiety, while lowering feelings of hunger and prospective food consumption, thereby leading to reduced food intake. As with other GLP-1 receptor agonists, Saxenda® stimulates insulin secretion and lowers glucagon secretion in a glucose-dependent manner12. These effects can lead to a reduction of fasting and post-prandial blood glucose. Saxenda® has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Commission.

About Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with more than 90 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. This heritage has given us experience and capabilities that also enable us to help people defeat other serious chronic conditions: haemophilia, growth disorders and obesity. Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs approximately 42,000 people in 77 countries and markets its products in more than 165 countries.

1.         Saxenda SPC (Summary of product characteristics).

2.         World Health Organization. Global Health Observatory data. Available at: Accessed July 2015

3.       Scott KM, Bruffaerts R, Simon GE, et al. Obesity and mental disorders in the general population: results from the world mental health surveys. Int J Obes (Lond). 2008; 32:192-200.

4.         Alexander SC CM, Boling Turer C, Lyna P, Østbye T, Tulsky J, Dolor R, Pollak K. Do the Five A's Work When Physicians Councel About Weight Loss? Fam Med. 2011; 43:179-184.

5.         Douketis J SA. Pharmacotherapy for obesity - adults. Article 14. CMAJ. 2007; 176:1-117.

6.         American Medical Association A. Declaration to classify obesity as a disease. Annual Meeting Report. 19 June 2013.

7.         Guh DP, Zhang W, Bansback N, et al. The incidence of co-morbidities related to obesity and overweight: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Public Health. 2009; 9:88.

8.         Peeters A, Barendregt JJ, Willekens F, et al. Obesity in adulthood and its consequences for life expectancy: a life-table analysis. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2003; 138:24-32.

9.         Gami AS, Caples SM, Somers VK. Obesity and obstructive sleep apnea. Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America. 2003; 32:869-894.

10.       Whitlock G, Lewington S, Sherliker P, et al. Body-mass index and cause-specific mortality in 900 000 adults: collaborative analyses of 57 prospective studies. Lancet. 2009; 373:1083-1096.

11.       Wright SM, Aronne LJ. Causes of obesity. Abdominal Imaging. 2012; 37:730-732.

12.       CDC. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention - Prediabetes Facts. Available at: 2012