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Spain: Ozempic scientists awarded the Princess of Asturias

The recipients were American researchers Jeffrey Friedman, Joel Habener, Svetlana Mojsov, Canadian Daniel Drucker and Danish Jens Juul Holst.



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Five experts from the United States, Canada and Denmark, whose studies have led to drugs to combat diabetes and obesity, such as Ozempic, were awarded this Wednesday in Spain with the Princess of Asturias Award for Scientific Research.

"The research of the award-winning scientists has established the endocrine bases of diabetes and obesity, prominent pathologies that are a global public health problem without effective treatment to date," according to the jury of the award, given by the Princess of Asturias Foundation. The award will be officially presented in October.

In a statement, the foundation explained that the recipients are American researchers Jeffrey Friedman, Joel Habener, Svetlana Mojsov, Canadian Daniel Drucker and Jens Juul Holst from Denmark.

"In recent years, there has been great progress in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, with the appearance of drugs that use semaglutide, a hormone-like peptide, glucagon-1 or GLP-1, as the active ingredient. It plays a counterbalancing role to insulin in blood sugar balance. When the sugar level drops, glucagon induces the liver to release glucose and when it rises, more insulin is generated, which is responsible for reducing the excess. In addition, semaglutide produces a notable reduction in appetite, which has made Ozempic, one of the drugs produced with this active ingredient, a success," the foundation detailed.

Ozempic is a prescription injectable medication, used along with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar (glucose) levels in adults with Type 2 diabetes mellitus, to reduce the risk of serious cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke, or death in adults with confirmed heart disease, according to its official website.

Some experts argue that drugs like Ozempic are a breakthrough in the treatment of obesity in the United States and could transform the perception and management of overweight conditions. However, most Americans believe that these medications are not suitable for people without weight-related health problems.

Despite being a diabetes medication, the reason why it has become popular is because it is used to lose weight. Personalities such as Kim Kardashian, Oprah Winfrey and Elon Musk have confirmed that they used it to lose weight.

"By contrast, just 12% of those familiar with these drugs say they are good options for people who want to lose weight but do not have a weight-related health condition. A far larger share (62%) say these drugs are not good options for people without a weight-related health condition, while 26% aren’t sure," explained a survey conducted by Pew Research.