Friday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new weight-loss drug, the first since 2014. The new drug, Wegovy, has proven to be safer and more effective than existing weight loss drugs, says MSN.

  • Wegovy is approved and intended for obese and overweight adults, reported Science Alert.

The drug is expected to hit consumer markets in the U.S. very soon, according to MSN. The price has not yet been confirmed but is expected to cost about $1,300 monthly without insurance, says Science Alert.

What is Wegovy?

Manufactured by Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, Wegovy suppresses appetites through the hormone semaglutide. Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 also used in diabetes treatments, reported Science Alert.

  • Wegovy involves a once-a-week injection, said Fox News.
  • The drug is intended to be taken alongside a reduced-calorie diet and with an increase in physical activity, said Fox News.

Wegovy is now FDA-approved for chronic weight management, said Science Alert.

Why is this approval significant?

In clinical trials, Wegovy patients averaged 15% weight loss over a 68-week period, said Science Alert. Existing weight-loss drugs average only 5% to 10% weight loss.

  • Wegovy is the first drug that can rival weight loss previously only possible through surgery, said Science Alert.

Researchers say the drug could be a “game changer” for thousands of obese or overweight individuals, per Science Direct. About 73.6% of American adults over the age of 20 are overweight or obese.