Revolutionary type 2 diabetes pill introduced in Saudi Arabia

GLP-1 also helps patients in three main areas including controlling high blood sugar rates, reducing body weight and avoiding episodes of hypoglycemia. (Shutterstock)
GLP-1 also helps patients in three main areas including controlling high blood sugar rates, reducing body weight and avoiding episodes of hypoglycemia. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 21 November 2021

Revolutionary type 2 diabetes pill introduced in Saudi Arabia

GLP-1 also helps patients in three main areas including controlling high blood sugar rates, reducing body weight and avoiding episodes of hypoglycemia. (Shutterstock)
  • GLP-1 RA controls blood sugar through 4 key mechanisms, removing the need for injections

JEDDAH: In Saudi Arabia, one in five people are diagnosed with the chronic progressive disease type 2 diabetes. This figure is double the global rate, meaning that the disease represents a serious public health issue for the Kingdom.

If ignored, the disease can cause serious medical complications. The usual treatment for controlling blood sugar is regular insulin injections.

Leading global health company Novo Nordisk recently launched the first-ever oral medicine to control blood sugar for type 2 diabetes patients. It is now used in the Kingdom and across the Arab world.

The announcement was presented in a press conference in Jeddah with the presence of elite international and local endocrinologists, family medicine consultants, media and press representatives, and health specialists.

The pill, GLP-1 RA, is certified by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority. The importance of this revolutionary treatment lies in its pill form. Medical director and quality manager of Novo Nordisk, Motaz Yahya, told Arab News: “The treatment of GLP-1 RA has been there in the market a long time ago in injection form, but our team created this innovative pill to help patients with diabetes to have a normal lifestyle.”

HIGHLIGHTS

• The Kingdom approves pill form GLP-1 RA type 2 diabetes medication.

• Almost 70 percent of type 2 diabetes patients in the world cannot reach the required levels of control.

• GLP-1 RA pill will help people with type 2 diabetes to control blood sugar and lose weight.

GLP-1 also helps patients in three main areas including controlling high blood sugar rates, reducing body weight and avoiding episodes of hypoglycemia. Like other treatments, it also helps patients control the disease at an early stage.

How does the GLP-1 pill work?

Patients with type 2 diabetes have to learn to live with the disease and control it for their whole lives. One of the panelists at the press conference, Dr. Ashraf Ameer, family medicine consultant and CEO of executive medical services at the International Medical Center, said that GLP-1 RA works in the body through four main mechanisms, describing it as a “qualitative leap” in the world of type 2 diabetes medication.

It is administered once daily, Ameer said. “GLP-1 works through four mechanisms, including preventing the liver from secreting the complex glucagon that is secreted in the blood and causes high sugar levels dramatically.

“The second mechanism works to stimulate the cells of the pancreas, the beta-cells, to secrete an amount of insulin, and when this amount is secreted into the blood circulation, it breaks down all the sugars, thus it helps the first mechanism in lowering the level of sugar in the blood.

“The third mechanism helps to empty the stomach by keeping the food in the stomach for a longer period, giving the patient a feeling of early satiety.

“As for the fourth mechanism, GLP-1 stimulates the satiety centers in the brain, which gives the patient a sense of mental satiety,” Ameer said.

These four mechanisms facilitate the prevention of hypoglycemia. It also aids weight loss, therefore improving insulin resistance in the blood.

“Patients of type 2 diabetes need to reach a good level of awareness about following a healthier lifestyle to be able to control their blood sugar levels. This requires a positive interaction with the disease and a sort of medical commitment,” Ameer said.

According to the latest report by the Saudi Ministry of Health, about 4.3 million adults with diabetes were recorded in the Kingdom, leading to high recorded prevalence rates of type 2 diabetes in about 25 percent of the population. The figure is expected to reach 50 percent by 2030.

Yahya told Arab News that the innovative drug’s clinical trial program was tested on 9,543 adults with type 2 diabetes in the Arab region, but none from the Kingdom. However, he added: “In 2022, clinical studies and trials will be conducted in Saudi Arabia and will include Saudi investigators, doctors and patients from the Kingdom.”


Saudi Arabia registers 2 COVID-19 deaths, 42 new cases

Saudi Arabia registers 2 COVID-19 deaths, 42 new cases
Updated 23 sec ago

Saudi Arabia registers 2 COVID-19 deaths, 42 new cases

Saudi Arabia registers 2 COVID-19 deaths, 42 new cases
  • The health ministry says 59 patients have recovered from the virus in the last 24 hours

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia confirmed two new COVID-19 related deaths on Tuesday, raising the total number of fatalities to 8,847.
The Ministry of Health confirmed 42 new cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 549,997 people have now contracted the disease. Of the total number of cases, 33 remain in critical condition.
According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in the capital Riyadh with 14, followed by Jeddah with 11, while Tabuk, Makkah and Madinah confirmed two cases each.


The health ministry also announced that 59 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 539,141.
Over 47.8 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered since the Kingdom’s immunization campaign started. More than 22.6 million people have been fully vaccinated.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 267 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 5.28 million.


Saudi Arabia and Oman to open first land crossing

Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq receives Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Muscat. (SPA)
Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq receives Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Muscat. (SPA)
Updated 18 min 18 sec ago

Saudi Arabia and Oman to open first land crossing

Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq receives Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Muscat. (SPA)
  • The Kingdom and the sultanate agreed to cooperate in the field of energy and climate change
  • The two sides also agreed to work to coordinate their positions on regional and international issues

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Oman announced on Tuesday the opening of the first land crossing between the two Gulf neighbors.
“The 725 kilometer Saudi-Omani road...will contribute to the smooth movement of citizens of the two countries and the integration of supply chains,” a joint statement released following an official visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said.
Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq and Prince Mohammed held talks in Muscat, where they reviewed prospects for joint cooperation and ways of developing them in various fields. They praised the cooperation and coordination achieved in the political, economic, military and security fields.


The two sides praised the efforts of the OPEC+ countries, led by the Kingdom and with Oman’s participation, which led to the stability and balance of oil markets. They also stressed the importance of continuing this cooperation and called on member countries to adhere to the OPEC+ agreement.
Saudi Arabia and Oman agreed to cooperate in the field of energy and climate change and to work jointly within the framework of the Middle East Green Initiative regionally and globally.
“The two sides agreed to increase the facilities that contribute to the smooth flow of intra-regional trade, enhance cooperation in the field of food security,” the statement said.
During the visit, memoranda of understanding were signed in the fields of tourism, radio and television, news exchange, and audio-visual and print media. Several leading Saudi and Omani companies also signed a number of agreements.
On regional and international issues, the two sides agreed to work to coordinate their positions in a manner that serves their interests and enhances security and stability, and affirmed their support for all efforts aimed at achieving peace in the Middle East.


They called for the need to reach a comprehensive settlement to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that guarantees the right of the Palestinian people to establish their independent state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
On Yemen, the two sides agreed to continue their efforts to find a comprehensive political solution to the crisis and end the human suffering of the brotherly Yemeni people.
The Kingdom and the sultanate also welcomed the success of the recent elections in Iraq, and the new Iraqi government will continue to work for the security, stability and development of the country.
“The two sides also welcomed the agreements reached by the parties to the transitional phase in Sudan, and affirmed their continued support for everything that would achieve security and stability in Sudan” and stability and prosperity for its people, the statement added.
They also called for the need to implement comprehensive reforms in Lebanon to ensure it overcomes its crises and does not become a launching pad for any terrorist or criminal acts that destabilize regional security and stability.


Saudi Arabia and Oman also called for the need to reach political solutions to the Syrian and Libyan crises, and to support relief efforts and security and stability in Afghanistan so it does not become a safe havens for terrorists and extremists.
Oman praised the Kingdom for calling an extraordinary meeting for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation countries to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, which will be held in Pakistan on Dec. 19.
They also stressed the need to cooperate and seriously and effectively deal with Iran’s nuclear and missile program with all its components and repercussions in a way that contributes to achieving regional and international security and stability. They emphasized the principles of good neighborliness and respect for UN resolutions and international legitimacy, and sparing the region from all destabilizing activities.
The crown prince’s two-day visit to Oman came following directives from King Salman to strengthen the close relations between the two countries, as part of a Gulf tour that also includes visits to the UAE Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait.


Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrives in UAE on next stop of GCC tour

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrives in UAE on next stop of GCC tour
Updated 07 December 2021

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrives in UAE on next stop of GCC tour

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrives in UAE on next stop of GCC tour
  • Saudi crown prince’s official tour of the GCC states comes from an earlier royal directive by King Salman

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, on Tuesday, on the second leg of his tour of Gulf states aimed at boosting relations.
Earlier on Tuesday, Prince Mohammed left Oman, the first stop of his tour of neighboring Gulf Cooperation Council states, where he met with Sultan Haitham bin Tariq.
The crown prince sent a cable to Sultan Haitham following the visit, thanking him for the warm reception and hospitality he and his accompanying delegation received, Saudi Press Agency reported.
“The discussions we had with Your Majesty confirmed the strength of the brotherly relations between our two countries, and the common desire to deepen cooperation between them in all fields,” he said, “which aims to achieve the interests of the two countries and enhance regional security and stability.”
The sultan and crown prince held talks where they reviewed bilateral relations and aspects of bilateral cooperation in several fields, and discussed the latest regional and international developments.
Minister of Energy Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, Minister of Sport Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, Minister of Interior Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif, Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, and Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan also attended the meetings.
The two sides also welcomed a joint statement announcing the opening of the first direct land crossing between the two countries. The 725km Omani-Saudi road will contribute to the smooth movement of citizens of the two countries and the integration of supply chains, the statement said.
Sultan Haitham awarded the crown prince the Oman Civil Order of the first degree – one of the highest Omani honors – during their official talks at Al-Alam Palace in Muscat. The distinction is awarded to kings, heads of state, crown princes and heads of government whose countries have distinguished relations with Oman.
Prince Mohammed’s tour comes after an earlier royal directive from King Salman to communicate with GCC leaders and strengthen ties, and also includes visits to Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait to discuss ways to develop bilateral relations in all fields, as well as other issues of common interest.


Saudi Arabia, Oman agree to strengthen media and business competitiveness

Saudi Arabia, Oman agree to strengthen media and business competitiveness
Updated 07 December 2021

Saudi Arabia, Oman agree to strengthen media and business competitiveness

Saudi Arabia, Oman agree to strengthen media and business competitiveness
  • On the eve of Saudi Crown Prince Salman’s arrival in Muscat, Saudi Arabia and Oman signed 13 memoranda of understanding, reportedly worth more than $10 billion and covering several sectors

DUBAI: Oman and Saudi Arabia signed on Tuesday a memorandum of understanding in the field of media related to strengthening cooperation between the two countries in news, audio-visual and print media, Oman’s state news agency reported.
Another memorandum aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of national industries and marketing research, encouraging joint activities and developing countries’ ease of business and e-commerce index was also signed. 
The latest round of cooperation comes a day after Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman arrived in Muscat to meet with Sultan Haitham bin Tarik as part of his official tour of GCC states.
On the eve of Saudi Crown Prince Salman’s arrival in Muscat, Saudi Arabia and Oman signed 13 memoranda of understanding, reportedly worth more than $10 billion and covering several sectors.


154 KSrelief food aid trucks sent to Yemen

The convoy included 30,399 food baskets (3.252 tons) for distribution in 15 Yemeni governorates. (KSrelief)
The convoy included 30,399 food baskets (3.252 tons) for distribution in 15 Yemeni governorates. (KSrelief)
Updated 07 December 2021

154 KSrelief food aid trucks sent to Yemen

The convoy included 30,399 food baskets (3.252 tons) for distribution in 15 Yemeni governorates. (KSrelief)
  • KSrelief has implemented, in cooperation with its many humanitarian partners, a total of 644 projects in Yemen

RIYADH: Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Supervisor General of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief), inaugurated the launch of 154 relief trucks from Saudi Arabia on Monday. 

The convoy included 30,399 food baskets (3.252 tons) for distribution in 15 Yemeni governorates.

The food aid is the first to be sent by KSrelief to Yemen as part of the comprehensive “Yemen Food Security Support Project”, which will continue into 2022.

In comments to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Dr. Al-Rabeeah stated that this convoy comes as an extension of the commitment of the government of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to provide ongoing assistance to the Yemeni people and to support them during their current humanitarian crisis.

Al-Rabeeah added that Monday’s convoy from KSrelief is part of the center’s impartial, comprehensive assistance to people in need in all parts of Yemen, and that all aid is provided according solely to need and without any other motive.

He added that the 154-vehicle convoy is the first in what will amount to a total of 973 trucks carrying more than 192,000 food baskets (20.540 tons) for a total cost of $29,978,000. The goal of the massive food aid delivery project is to alleviate the suffering of crisis-affected families across Yemen.

Al-Rabeeah said the aid will help to increase food security and improve the quality of life of Yemenis, adding that this aid is particularly important in light of the additional challenges being posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He stressed that KSrelief was keen to ensure that all aid reaches its targeted beneficiaries, and that the food baskets would be distributed through United Nations organizations and local partners in coordination with Yemen’s High Relief Committee.

KSrelief has implemented, in cooperation with its many humanitarian partners, a total of 644 projects in Yemen covering all key humanitarian sectors.