Semaglutide (Ozempic/Wegovy) shows 3-year efficacy for blood sugar control and weight loss

Written by | 5 Oct 2023 | Endocrine System

Data from a “real world” study indicates that treatment with the semaglutide (Ozempic/Wegovy) for type 2 diabetes significantly improves both blood sugar control and weight loss for up to 3 years in adults.

The findings were released on Oct 2, 2023 from the Annual Meeting of The European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD).

“Our long-term analysis of semaglutide in a large and diverse cohort of patients with type 2 diabetes found a clinically relevant improvement in blood sugar control and weight loss after 6 months of treatment, comparable with that seen in randomised trials,” said investigator Avraham Karasik, MD, lead author and professor at the Institute of Research and Innovation at Maccabi Health Services in Israel, the second largest health maintenance organization in the country.

“Importantly, these effects were sustained for up to 3 years, supporting the use of once weekly semaglutide for the long-term management of type 2 diabetes,” Karasik added.

The investigators retrospectively evaluated data on the use of semaglutide in patients from the Maccabi diabetes registry.

They identified 23,442 eligible subjects who had redeemed at least one prescription for weekly semaglutide subcutaneous injections (0.25, 0.5 and 1 mg) between August 2019 and December 2022. These same subjects had also undergone one blood sugar control check (HbA1c) 12 months before, and 6 months after, starting treatment.

Prior to semaglutide treatment, 30% of the subjects were treated with insulin, and 31% were treated with another GLP-1 RA (glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist.

Six months after beginning semaglutide treatment, subjects achieved an average lowering of their HbA1c by 0.77% (from 7.6% to 6.8%) and reduced their body weight by 4.7 kg (from 94.1 kg to 89.7 kg).

Further analysis of data beyond 6 months showed that reductions in HbA1c and weight continued over time during the 3-year follow-up.

Among subjects who began semaglutide treatment at least two years before the end of study period and showed high adherence to treatment, HbA1c was reduced by 0.76% after 24 months and by 0.43% after 36 months. Boody weight was reduced by 6.0 kg after 24 months and 5.8 kg after 36 months.

“In this large real-world study, we were able to show durable reductions in HbA1c and body weight with emphasis on drug adherence. Data are in line with results in randomised controlled trials and show the long-term stable benefit of once weekly semaglutide,” Karasik said.

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