Treatment for obesity traditionally involves diet therapy and lifestyle modifications such as physical exercise. However, conventional therapies alone are not always sufficient in achieving desired weight loss, as they have their own limitations. The decreased food intake may lead to nutritional deficiencies and the obese may find it difficult to strictly follow the diet regimen. Hence these difficulties in long-term weight management are encouraging patients to look for more effective treatment options with guaranteed results.
Emerging anti-obesity treatment therapies such as pharmacotherapy, bariatric surgeries, as well as the use of weight loss devices will help meet the rising need to reduce the prevalence of obesity and its associated health risks.
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“Pharmacotherapy, is an Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved treatment for patients who have not responded to diet therapy and physical exercises,” states Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Sangeetha Prabakar. “It is recommended, both, for obese individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 30+ who do not have any associated health risks such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and stroke in addition to moderately obese patients with two or more collateral conditions.”
Bariatric surgery is opted by severely obese patients who have failed to achieve weight loss through drugs, diet therapy, and physical exercise. These surgeries ensure weight loss and patients enjoy a better quality of life as well as increased life expectancies.
On the other hand, moderately obese patients who are not eligible for surgeries prefer medical devices that are minimally invasive. Gadgets such as the gastric pace maker, intragastric balloon, and devices based on neurostimulation techniques are likely to become popular in the future.
Due to the profusion of choices, it is vital to be aware of the various treatment options and choose the one that is most suited to a person’s family history of obesity and the degree of the disease.
Healthcare companies that have realized the immense potential of anti-obesity treatment therapies are investing in ongoing research activities that aid in the enhancement of these technologies to develop innovative treatment procedures.
“More numbers of focused molecular drug targets coupled with significant advances in drug discovery technologies are further kindling interest in the ability of therapeutic weight loss drugs,” explains Prabakar. “As a result, there are several new drugs in the developmental pipeline and the clinical trial stage.”
The increasing use of laproscopy in bariatric surgeries, such as the Lap-Band, enables surgeons to effortlessly perform a greater number of weight loss surgeries. Since bariatric surgery is a well-established modality for long-term weight control, researchers in this field are working on improving techniques to develop more efficient and minimally invasive weight loss procedures.
Although the demand for diverse anti-obesity therapies is growing, the sector is yet to capture increased value through the commercialization of products and research findings.
“Moreover, novel drug targets have had minimal impact on the revenues since only two drugs have been approved for long-term usage and others are still under development,” notes Prabakar. “However in the future traditional drug-based approaches are necessary to address the needs of a broader market in spite of significant developments in the weight loss market in the form of multivariate treatment options such as surgery and implantable devices, which offer a solution mainly for the significantly obese patients.”
With this in mind healthcare companies can achieve significant revenues by commercializing new products and offering cost-effective therapies that enable greater weight loss with minimal side effects.
Clinical Management of Obesity is part of the Technical Insights - Healthcare Vertical, which also includes research in the following applications/technologies: diet therapies, lifestyle modifications, pharmacotherapy, bariatric surgeries, and medical devices for weight loss. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Interviews with the press are available.
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