New obesity treatments planned to save NHS money

The Department of Health and Social Care has announced £20 million of research funding to develop new medicines and digital tools to fight obesity.

Estimates suggest that obesity costs the NHS £6 billion annually, this is expected to rise to £9.7 billion by 2050.

The fund is to be spent on medicines and digital technologies including apps and online portals to encourage lifestyle changes.

An open competition will be run early next year to identify sites to deliver the research. It is intended for research to be focused outside of London and the South East, in areas where obesity rates and health disparities are the highest.

Health and social care secretary Steve Barclay said: "Having a fit and healthy population is essential to reducing pressure on the NHS and supporting the economy with obesity, currently estimated to cost the NHS nearly £10 billion per year by 2050.

"We are fast-tracking the most promising treatments and technologies to NHS patients to help them achieve a healthy weight, save the NHS billions of pounds and increase life expectancy.

"We are determined to harness the full potential of innovative medical breakthroughs to level up the health of the nation."

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