New weight loss drugs are highly effective, so why aren’t they widely used?

A new class of weight loss drug is giving some patients with obesity new hope that they’ll be able to lose excess pounds and improve their health 

 The drugs are both safe and effective, doctors say relatively few of the country’s millions of eligible patients are taking them 

“This drug is something that transforms lives for some people,” said Thomas Wadden, the director of Penn Medicine’s 

More than 70 percent of adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

Obesity can lead to a variety of other medical conditions, including high blood pressure and cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes and stroke 

The drugs mimic a hormone produced in the gut called GLP-1, which tells the pancreas to secrete more insulin to control blood sugar. 

But when doctors noticed that patients also lost weight, drugmakers got on board, offering the medications in higher dosages specifically to treat obesity