A Global Change
Obesity is a complex chronic medical condition characterized by an excessive accumulation of body fat, which presents a risk to an individual’s health. The prevalence of obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally. According to the World Health Organization, in 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight, and over 650 million were classified as obese. This significant increase can be attributed to a complex interplay between genetic predisposition (influencing for example metabolism and appetite regulation) and environmental factors such as diet, stress, infection, pollution, and socioeconomic factors.
Obesity has commonly been diagnosed by assessing an individual’s body mass index (BMI), which is calculated by dividing their weight in kilograms by the square of their height in meters. However, there is an increased understanding that BMI is a poor assessment variable when it comes to determine individual health status. A more comprehensive evaluation of the patient is needed, including the individual’s medical history, physical examination including some assessment of anthropometry/body composition, and assessment glucose metabolism and cardiovascular risk factors.
Treatment approaches for obesity often encompass a combination of lifestyle modifications, such as adopting a balanced diet, increasing physical activity, behavior therapy (were improved sleep and stress management are important components), and, in most cases, medication or surgical interventions. Early intervention, personalized care, and addressing the underlying causes are crucial in managing obesity effectively and reducing the associated health risks.
Empros Pharma’s view on weight management
The clinician needs to assess for each patient the risks of the disease and the risks of the treatment. Based on this, a clinician can prescribe more ‘aggressive’ treatments to patients that are suffering badly from their obesity. For patients classified by the Edmonton Obesity Scoring system as Stage 4 (high risk), invasive and expensive treatment such as gastric bypass and injectables are most probably the initial treatment options. However, for a patient with less risk (Stage 0 to 2), EMP16 could be the first-in-line treatment option. Or, translated to BMI categories, the main treatment group for EMP16 will be patients with a BMI between 30-35 or a BMI>27 together with comorbidities. Another important group for EMP16 treatment will be patients who have successfully lost weight with injectables but need extra support to maintain their weight loss after their injectable treatment period ends. Also, it helps clinicians to treat patients who cannot afford the available injectable drugs or who seek an oral solution. Due to the strong safety profile and local effect, EMP16 can also be used in combination with other weight loss medications.
*The Edmonton Obesity Staging System (EOSS) is a tool that assigns patients a score of 0 to 4 according to their obesity-related comorbidities and functional status. Previous research demonstrates that increasing EOSS score is associated with overall non-operative mortality risk.
Reference: Skulsky SL, Dang JT, Switzer NJ, Sharma AM, Karmali S, Birch DW. Higher Edmonton Obesity Staging System scores are independently associated with postoperative complications and mortality following bariatric surgery: an analysis of the MBSAQIP. Surg Endosc. 2021 Dec;35(12):7163-7173. doi: 10.1007/s00464-020-08138-7. Epub 2020 Nov 5. PMID: 33155074.