How much sugar is in the Lipotrim formulas?

Have you ever wondered how much sugar is in your diet?

Are you aware there are some significant differences between the plethora of sugar types that you have no doubt consumed over the years, potentially and quite often unknowingly?

Sucrose - How much sugar is in Lipotrim

Take a look at our sister website, Lipotrim UK,and their blog post titled: " HOW MUCH SUGAR IS IN THE LIPOTRIM DIET?"

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Covid19 vaccines – how to help vaccines work

Covid19 vaccines are imminent, with three different vaccines claiming to be potentially ready for widespread use by Christmas 2020. This news is more than welcome after a torrid 2020 for us all.

We have seen plenty of reports heralding the Covid19 vaccines as our solution to the coronavirus pandemic but is this going to solve the covid19 threat?

The short answer is "not on its own".

Firstly, we have already written about the Covid19 mortality rate and who is most at risk.

Secondly, even with a 90%+ effective covid19 vaccine there are some fundamental factors such as T-cells that affect our immune system which we need to seriously consider.

Our immune system comprises much more than antibodies and its effectiveness hinges upon our maintaining our health, especially our nutrition and a healthy body weight.

On our sister website, Lipotrim UK, we have written a piece explaining why, as well as getting the covid19 vaccine, we must also take immediate action in other areas of our health.

For a fully optimal immune system we must ensure a complete intake of essential nutrients and lose any excess weight. The Lipotrim UK blog post is titled:


Pharmacy is ideally placed to offer this evidence-based advice so we can all benefit from the much needed good vaccine news.

Covid19 vaccines are just around the corner so let us work towards, and hope for, a more normal 2021!

Please contact your local participating Lipotrim Ireland pharmacy today to request assistance with your health, nutrition and any excess weight.

During the pandemic many pharmacies are unable to offer their extended services, Lipotrim being just one of the many pharmacy services temporarily suspended.

If your local pharmacy is affected or for more information please contact us straight away

Tel: 015 255 636 (local rate call)


Lipotrim ROI pharmacy poster - Stop sign Weight loss matters
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Being lazy causes obesity? Why fat shaming won’t work.

“I can’t be shamed into losing weight – I’m not lazy or lacking in self-discipline”. This is the title of an important article in the Guardian Newspaper, August 4th from which we wrote an important post on our Lipotrim UK website.

This article shows true understanding of obesity, recognising that millions of people in Ireland, the UK and across the world for that matter should not be deemed and shamed as lazy or without discipline.

mantra to eat less and exercise more leads to fat-shaming

There are two powerful instincts that have assured our continued existence as living animals: procreation and the drive for food.  We humans have many advantages over other organisms but without either basic instinct there would currently be no people.

This drive for food is critical and a topic which must addressed if we are to successfully tackle excess weight and obesity.

The common dieting entreaty to “just eat less” is simply illogical. and call it whatever you like, but food is the fundamental addiction.

We at Lipotrim Ireland understand these weight loss problems and invite you to read our blog post on the Lipotrim UK website.

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Covid19 mortality rate – pharmacy can help

The time has come for governments to offer a robust Covid19 exit strategy. Thankfully life this Summer 2020 is slowly returning to a new normal. However, Covid19 is still out there and is likely to remain for some time to come, second wave or otherwise.

The pandemic is simply not going to abruptly finish just because we can meet up with our families and friends again.

The coronavirus, covid19, has affected each of us in so many ways since the pandemic hit in early 2020, with many deaths still being recorded. With a greater understanding on the risk factors for covid-related deaths there is hope….

Who is most at risk from Covid19

Although everyone is at risk from the coronavirus, the emerging data from across the world shows a much higher risk for certain demographics:

Evidence seen by Sage suggests obese patients are 43 per cent more likely to die from the coronavirus ( ).

New data from NHS England shows, of the 23,804 deaths recorded, 7,466 (31.3%) who died from coronavirus had type 2 diabetes (Diabetes UK – ).

Over 70% of the deaths from the virus were men (file:///C:/Users/ge.HFR.000.001/Downloads/ICNARC%20COVID-19%20report%202020-06-26.pdf.pdf )

There is now strong evidence emerging that indicates black men and women are four times more likely to die from Covid19 than their white counterparts. Individuals from BAME groups are, as a whole, especially at risk. ( )

Why is the coronavirus evidence for BAME groups so important?

The evidence behind the risk to BAME groups is urgently being investigated and we are all eager to understand why the colour of skin and ethnic background increases the risk of Covid19 so much.

BAME demographic increases risk of severe outcomes from Covid19

In our pivotal capacity tackling obesity through healthcare professionals we have long since discussed the elevated health risks associated with excess weight in BAME communities. For example, the incidence of type 2 diabetes is dramatically higher for BAME individuals at a much lower BMI than for white populations, eg the risk for black cohorts at a BMI of 26 is the same at a BMI of 30 for white cohorts (see diagram below).

Covid19 relevant BAME variation of type 2 diabetes risk in relation to BMI

BAME variation of type 2 diabetes risk in relation to BMI

There is some logic therefore to suggest Covid19 could be negatively affecting a much larger BAME population than an equivalent white population simply from the outcomes of excess weight.

Time will tell ultimately, but there is one thing we can all do to mitigate against the severe effects of Covid19 infection. Lose excess weight.

Pharmacy holds the key to reducing the risk and outcomes of Covid19

Pharmacy has remained the most accessible and available group of healthcare professionals throughout the pandemic.

Offering regular updates on the progression of Covid19 advice and the measures needed to reduce its transmission have been at the heart of all pharmacy advice since the start of 2020.

The mounting evidence, especially in the BAME population, is making it critical for weight loss support to be added to this proactive advice pharmacy delivers daily.

But time is of the essence…

There is little value in taking weight loss slowly and steadily. The pandemic is not going anywhere soon. It is vital to lose the excess weight NOW to protect as many lives as possible.

Very Low Calorie Diets (VLCDs) have long since been shown to offer safe and effective weight loss with impressively rapid results. A quick reduction in obesity, a proven indicator for Covid19 severity, could have a profoundly positive effect on an individual level and on lessening the burden on our precious health service.

There is now considerable scientific recognition of VLCDs providing remission of type 2 diabetes. Very low calorie, nutritionally complete formula foods reduce blood sugar extremely rapidly to pre-diabetes levels long before significant weight loss occurs.

The mainstay of type 2 diabetes control is to medicate, costing the health services billions of Euros every year. The current pandemic data is demonstrating the continual suppression blood glucose levels by hypoglycaemics is unlikely to confer protection against Covid19.

Remission of type 2 diabetes through rapid weight loss, rather than medicated suppression, may well hold the key to reducing Covid19 mortality in type 2 diabetes.

The male population needs to take particular interest in the Covid19 data since they constitute 70% of all deaths. Being an obese, type 2 diabetic, BAME male has always carried maximum health risks. Covid19 has sent these risks even higher.

Pharmacy holds a key strategy to tackle the effects of Covid19

Lock-down has not been kind to many who have apparently indulged in excessive eating and drinking. Traditional measures to combat poor lifestyles, eating less and exercising more, has a short lifespan of a matter of weeks at best.

The outlook for the mainstay of weight loss support for most is miserable. It is unlikely those involved, both leaders and dieters, will be willing to risk being part of slimming clubs or even diet programmes in private homes.

To make matters worse, the medical community is generally far too focused on the virus to pay much attention to weight issues.

Therefore, the opportunity to mitigate health risks through weight loss at your local pharmacy shouldn’t be ignored.

Find your local Lipotrim Ireland pharmacy here

or contact us by calling 015255636 (local rate call)

Pharmacy has long recognised the value of the Lipotrim VLCD in assisting their community’s health through safe and effective weight management. The current pandemic has enhanced the role of pharmacy. Their ability to offer support, even during these challenging times, is testament to their professionalism.

Start taking excess weight seriously now, as restrictions are being lifted. Pharmacy can arguably offer the possibility of lifesaving Covid19 help. 

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Additional Coronavirus advice – nutrition matters

COVID-19 also known as the coronavirus is making headlines every minute. The implications of this epidemic to both our individual health and fabric of society are concerning.

Lipotrim Ireland helpline - Cononavirus advice

The world’s new-found interest in infectious disease, its prevention and treatment, is proving to be a steep learning curve. Yes, there have been the inevitable pseudo-scientists getting in the way of the truth, but the healthcare professionals at Lipotrim can offer some factual additional information when it comes to the coronavirus.

How to limit the spread of coronavirus

We wholly support and urge you to strictly follow the government’s coronavirus advice for the prevention of COVID-19, with these standard hygiene measures replicable for all epidemics:

Hand-washing technique to prevent coronavirus spread

“Prevention is better than cure” so the saying goes. With no cure being immediately available, you might be in the demographic susceptible to infections and rightly concerned. You could be doing things now to mitigate the effects of contracting the coronavirus.

Hygiene related preventative measures are not going to be of use if you actually contract COVID-19. Now, we must stay calm and realise that the vast majority of those contracting the coronavirus show minor symptoms, but there are many individuals who may greatly suffer, even die as a result.

How to limit the effect of a coronavirus infection

Nutrition matters when it comes to your body’s defence systems, including your immune system.

We have at Lipotrim written an article discussing the pivotal impact that a balanced and complete nutrition intake has on the body’s immune and defence systems. This is fundamental science but unfortunately seems to be missed in the understandable clamour to wash hands and avoid body contact.

Lipotrim coronavirus advice - nutrition matters to the human body immune system

Please click here to read more….

Lipotrim is safe to use whether carrying on losing weight using the Total Food Replacement Programme or maintaining weight and/or health status using the Maintenance Programme. In fact, all our specially designed Lipotrim formula foods offer everyone the opportunity to optimise their nutrition intake which is critical for sustaining a healthy immune system.

  • For advice and support please contact your nearest participating Lipotrim Ireland Pharmacy
  • Contact us on 015255636 for addition support and to place orders for the Total Food Replacement Programme once registered with a participating pharmacy
  • Visit our online Lipotrim shop to purchase the Maintenance Programme. Get this Lipotrim formula food delivered to the address of your choice:

Full article can be found at:

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Black Friday 50% Sale – Caramel Bar & Chocolate Whip

50% Sale now on

This Black Friday we are offering a 50% discount off the Lipotrim Maintenance caramel bars and chocolate whip dessert mixes.

Claim your 50% discount using the special Coupon Code: BLACK19 on the Basket or Checkout page of the Lipotrim online shop.

Offer runs from 27/11/19 to 04/11/19 inclusive and discount applies to caramel bars and chocolate whip formulas only when purchased through the Lipotrim Ireland online shop (cannot be used with any other coupon code).

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How to avoid fat-shaming & tackle rising obesity levels

As far as how to avoid fat-shaming goes, Pharmacy has, for many years, demonstrated the ability to tackle the rising levels of obesity in Ireland whilst maintaining a sympathetic and non-judgemental approach.

This seems at odds with reports in The Irish Times that:


Doctors are as guilty of fat-shaming people as everyone else

Fat-shaming, fat stigmatisation and fat bias are increasing – and the medical profession is not immune

As this article on fat-shaming reports, Ireland has one of the highest levels of obesity in Europe, costing the health service vast amounts of money treating often preventable medical conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes.

How to avoid at-shaming and prevent blowing up the Irish healthcare budget

There has been an outcry against Cancer Research UK for documenting the link between cancers and obesity. This outcry against Cancer Research UK’s campaign to highlight the proven increased risk of cancer in obese people further highlights the sensitive nature of tackling excess body weight.

Why the fat-shaming outcry against a scientific fact?

The issues surrounding fat-shaming and the dehumanisation of obesity may stem from the overall weight-related message delivered day-in day-out by society as a whole and unfortunately, many healthcare professionals.

People are sick of being told “weight loss is simple, just eat less and exercise more”.

This mantra has been handed out for decades and of course it continues to fail.  By it’s vagueness, this message puts the onus on the individual in a condescending way. It implies simplicity and therefore transfers the notion of laziness and ignorance.  Two thirds of the population cannot all be lazy and ignorant.

mantra to eat less and exercise more leads to fat-shaming

Weight loss is not easy and real weight loss is not benign. It effects medical conditions and treatments.

While losing excess weight is proven to be beneficial, the interaction that weight loss has with medical conditions and medications must be considered so that it remains beneficial.

Reducing levels of obesity can indeed lower the risk of developing many types of cancer, lower elevated blood pressure and even force type 2 diabetes remission.

We all wish the end of cancer, so the message should be welcomed but why wasn’t it?

The current weight loss message lays the cancer risk firmly at the obese person’s feet in a manner that implies “if you really want to lose weight you can by choosing to eat less, so if you really want to reduce your cancer risk just get on with it”.

It is no wonder that those afflicted by obesity feel fat-shamed, dehumanised and discouraged.

How has pharmacy managed where Doctors and other healthcare professionals fail?

Firstly, let’s ask the question “what if the weight loss message was different”? What if instead of saying “just eat less and exercise more” there was more humanisation to the message and a lot more empathy? Let’s start with…..

To lose weight a drop in overall calorie intake is critical. Exercise alone can only do so much. We now understand obesity is a disease, formed by many components including a predisposition to deep-seated habitual behaviours, akin to addiction.

Try telling a long-term smoker to “just cut back on the cigs until you quit”, or an alcoholic to “drink less spirits and swap to shandy, or better still why not stop drinking alcohol starting today”.

We surely recognise these statements being total nonsense and demonstrate total ignorance of the issues that cause a person to follow addictive type behaviours that can negatively affect their health.

This is where pharmacy in Ireland and the UK is paving the way, through their Lipotrim Weight Management Programme, to a more understanding, successful and non-judgemental approach to obesity.

Pharmacists are experts in medicine and know how to avoid fat-shaming when discussing weightloss

The pharmacist is an expert in health and medications, available on the high-street (often 7 days a week) and is proving that a more care-orientated approach to obesity works.

The Lipotrim programme recognises obesity as a form of addictive behaviour  and a chronic medical problem, a disease. Pharmacy understands that obesity is not “cured” and just as a smoker or alcoholic can easily relapse so can a dieter.

Lipotrim’s unique nutritionally complete formula foods allow the patient to distance themselves from food, creating the control that only abstinence can achieve. The regular availability of the participating pharmacist’s expertise supports the patients both professionally and individually throughout the weight loss and weight management phases.

Remember it is Lipotrim’s “as near to food abstinence as you can safely get” regimen that promotes the separation from and control over the substance of abuse.

With the local population regularly accessing the pharmacy for health-related issues, the pharmacy can underpin their advice, where appropriate, with the offer of a consultation to discuss prevention and treatment through their stop-smoking, alcohol/drug withdrawal and weight loss support.

The programme is further enhanced by the Lipotrim Ireland patient-by-patient protocol. Patients who register interest at participating pharmacies are initially screened for clinical suitability by the pharmacy. They are then referred to the Lipotrim Ireland helpline/order-line where they are further supported by Lipotrim’s experts. This small delay of up to 3 working days between placing their Lipotrim diet order and collecting their first week’s supply from the pharmacy ensures there is time for the patient to watch the essential Patient Education Video and set a start date.

Think of it as a food “quit date” similar to stop smoking advice.

What do we need to learn when tackling obesity and how to avoid fat-shaming?

Redefining obesity and how to avoid fat-shaming

As healthcare professionals we recognise that not everyone who carries excess weight wants to change, now or ever. Fat shaming only makes things worse.

To avoid dehumanisation and fat-shaming we ALL must adopt a more caring and sensitive approach to defining and discussing the true cause of and consequence of obesity. We must recognise the negative impact excess weight is proven to have on our health, while offering diet solutions that have a real chance of weight loss success.

Pharmacy, through the Lipotrim programme, can truly support those people trying to lose weight, who are being let down by the current mantra of “just eat less and exercise more”. By taking weight loss seriously pharmacy, especially in the context of supplying medications as part of medical care, can offer health advice and support without resorting to, or being accused of dehumanisation or fat-shaming.

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Pharmacy can help you lose weight safely & effectively

Having stumbled across a website for weight loss using a Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD). It is of real concern that this on-line diet company is promoting itself as a much better alternative than their perceived competitors, including Lipotrim Ireland, a Gold Standard Diet.

What concerned me was their emphasis on the lack of a requirement for monitoring, their diet being a simple transaction to purchase diet formulas with no face-to-face support. In the case of Lipotrim, monitoring by a healthcare professional comes as standard, always through a supervising doctor or pharmacist. The insistence of monitoring by a healthcare professional when following the Lipotrim programme, they suggest, is a great reason for ordering their diet on-line.

pharmacy can give support and safety as standard where online diets cannot

It is inconvenient to have to visit a pharmacy or a doctor’s practice isn’t it?

After all, all you need is a shake or a bar and you can lose weight?

I have no idea about the quality of this diet company’s products, but a lot of their emphasis was about taste and cost. Before you make a decision, there are a few things to consider when choosing a programme to help you lose weight safely and more than a few pounds.

First there is a real reason for involving a healthcare professional. After all, there is no shortage of dieting books, magazine articles, slimming clubs and supplements that are heavily marketed to help with weight loss. Few of these suggest the need for healthcare professional involvement, above the obligatory small-print, and for a very good reason. The amount of fat-weight lost by these products or books is usually quite small.  Yes, there can be some early weight loss, however most can be attributed to the early utilization of stored sugars with their associated bound water, not body fat.

Do promises of 7 pounds loss in the first week sound familiar?  Usually the second week is less exciting and by the third week the promise of continued weight loss is very much less certain.

Proper VLCDs like Lipotrim have a legacy of decades of safety and efficacy. Lipotrim really works, offering predictable and considerable weight loss, a majority being a loss of excess body fat.

The loss of body fat is a positive “problem” because real weight loss is not benign. 

True weight loss, beyond just water loss, affects many aspects of health, especially those health issues related to weight. If you have enough excess weight to lose, especially if you are currently obese, you should be caring about the health issues associated with the excess weight. Unless you are medically trained, you could easily and quite quickly be playing a form of “Russian Roulette” using a mail order diet without educated monitoring.  That is why Lipotrim is restricted to pharmacists and GPs. The whole Lipotrim programme, in its formulation and monitoring protocol, is designed to ensure your safety.

If you purchase a Very Low Calorie Diet online who is there to protect YOU?

Secondly, I previously raised the issue of cost and taste.

We all like the taste of food, quite often part of the reason we feel the need to lose weight.  The reason we need to eat is a fundamental behaviour.

We ALL need food because our bodies require a number of things to keep us alive and healthy. We all understand our need for calories to provide energy, but we also need about 50 “chemicals” from foods that we call nutrients. They are the vitamins, minerals, trace elements, amino acids and fatty acids that are obtained from other living beings – plants and animals. Without all of these nutrients, illness and even death can result. Unfortunately, there is no single animal or plant source that contains all our essential nutrients. Each animal or plant’s chemistry is uniquely theirs, so we normally eat a wide variety of foods in the hope we can get reasonably close to our overall requirements.

Putting together a formula diet, like Lipotrim, is not as simple as it sounds. Luckily, Howard Foundation Research and Lipotrim have a long history in the field of weight loss research and expertise in designing nutritionally complete formula foods. We understand some of the essential nutrients are expensive, some even have an unfavourable taste that is difficult to mask.

Unfortunately, the easiest way to provide a cheap diet is to forgo the monitoring, critical for safety, and to use an inexpensive mixture.

It is simple to design a diet that has a great taste, leave some of the bad tasting nutrition out of the formula.

If a nutritionally incomplete formula is used for a prolonged time, there will highly likely be negative medical consequences.

Rather than leaving out essential nutrition, the cost of a diet can also be solved by using cheaper ingredients. This may not seem too much of an issue, but it is inadvisable.

Let me provide an example.

I apologise, but a bit of science is necessary. Humans need some of the components of proteins, called “essential amino acids”. They are essential! There are a great many different amino acids found in living things, but human adults must have eight of them. Very importantly, it is not acceptable to have just some, we humans must have enough.

Proteins are given a chemical score depending upon how well the protein matches the needs of humans.  The highest chemical score of any food protein is found in the white of eggs. This is not practical in formula foods, since egg albumin will cook. A shake that must contain more than just protein would be inedible if egg albumin was used. The second-best protein source for people is casein, the major protein of animal milk (not plant milks). Milk or isolated casein is not inexpensive. Vegetable proteins, such as soy, are much less expensive. Unfortunately, they have a much lower chemical score, making vegetable proteins far less effective at delivering the essential amino acid needs of people.

So where am I getting to? The nutritional label of a diet shows the amount of protein in the formula but doesn’t tell the story of the protein quality. Choose a cheaper diet and you could well be following a diet far removed from the safe, effective and nutritionally optimised one you thought you were buying.

Lipotrim now has close to 40 years of use exclusively under the care of healthcare professionals. We want you to be as healthy and safe as possible. We want you to succeed. That is why Lipotrim is more than simply ordering some diet stuff on line. We also know from our extensive research over the years, that people do much better when they are monitored frequently.

Understanding the principles behind safe and effective weight loss is what makes Lipotrim a Gold Standard Diet.

Choosing a cheaper diet with less “inconvenience”, potentially compromising safety and effectiveness, is ultimately your diet choice.

Live in the UK?
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DNP diet pill deaths – Important pharmacy news

DNP diet pill deaths have made for some important pharmacy news as explained through a Feature Article in the UK “ PHARMACEUTICAL JOURNAL” June 2019 (VOL 302 NO 7926), titled:


DNP: The dangerous diet pill pharmacists should know about


This is very important news for pharmacy and all healthcare professionals.

What is DNP?  

DNP, which is the short name for 2,4-dinitrophenol, is related to an increasing number of deaths even though it is mainly used as a fertilizer and not for human consumption.

Unfortunately, there seems to be no end of unscrupulous people making “sensationalised claims” that DNP can help people quickly burn fat and lose weight.

There is a call in this article for pharmacists to raise awareness of the dangers of using DNP and to be vigilant for signs of DNP toxicity.

DNP diet pill deaths - important pharmacy news

How does DNP work? 

DNP uses up calories rapidly by causing an energy utilization biochemical pathway, oxidative phosphorylation, to cycle out of control. This “uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation”, decreases mitochondria efficiency in the cell, whilst increasing oxygen consumption, giving rise to the claims of a 50% increase in metabolic rate.

Unfortunately, the resulting rapid weight loss is far less desirable than one would imagine. DNP raises the metabolic rate to such an extent that the body responds with an unlimited increase in body temperature; an uncontrolled hyperthermia. There is apparently no safe DNP usage possible and no known off button, making even a tiny dose of DNP typically lethal.

Learn from the diet experts at Lipotrim

Howard Foundation Research (HFR) are experts in the physiological and nutritional principles required for long term weight management and the brains behind the Gold Standard Lipotrim weight management programme.

At Howard Foundation Research (Lipotrim), we are now, and have always been fully behind any call to action against the rise of DNP diet pill sales. DNP is a lethal chemical not fit for human use, despite dubious online marketing techniques.

We are keen to point out that Lipotrim had already notified all of our participating Lipotrim pharmacies of the issue concerning DNP diet pill deaths on more than one occasion, even dating back to a November 2012 newsletter (see PDF below; page 2):


Warning over DNP diet drug death
The recent death of a man using a chemical long recognised as extremely dangerous has led to recent warnings in the news. DNP (2,4-Dinitrophenol), an industrial chemical with various applications, has gained steady popularity as a fat loss tool. Boasting an astounding 50% increase in metabolic rate, it is able to contribute to reported fat losses of 10-12 pounds in 8 days of use.
Unfortunately, there is no upper limit to the resulting increase in body temperature and no reversal to this mechanism and so can usually lead to death. It is especially dangerous for fat people because body fat is excellent insulation and excess core heat generated cannot be easily dissipated

There has been an additional call in the UK from Sudhir Sehrawat (RPS Welsh Pharmacy Board member) for every UK pharmacy to promote weight loss services. This is highly welcomed, just as stop smoking services are the normal, and can easily be adopted across the Ireland pharmacy network.

With this news in mind, it is important to note that the lack of effective anti-obesity pharmacotherapies available through our health services can be partly put down to the same principles of the dangers behind DNP. Medicines designed to increase metabolism to treat excess weight are likely to result in a similar uncontrolled hyperthermia, the dangers of which are exacerbated by an insulating layer of body fat.

Pharmacy is the ideal healthcare setting to provide safe and effective weight management advice using evidence-based programmes such as Lipotrim.

The proof of over 30 years of data collected from participating Lipotrim pharmacies upholds the notion that nutritionally complete, controlled calorie restriction is one of the safest and effective means to tackle obesity.

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Pharmacy’s clinical expertise can help pressured services

Pharmacies across Ireland have an opportunity to utilise their clinical skills to great effect according to the

“Pharmacies ‘ready, willing and able’ to play bigger role in healthcare”

This is music to our ears, since Howard Foundation Research (HFR) has long since championed and supported independent pharmacies across Ireland and the UK through the Lipotrim Pharmacy Weight Management Programme. The Lipotrim protocol, revised a few years ago, is proving a great success since changing to a patient-by-patient model. Using this modern approach all parties benefit well above that seen in current use through other pharmacy weight management programme providers. Since the pharmacy no longer physically stocks the Gold Standard Lipotrim formula foods, saving on precious space and cash-flow, the pharmacist and their staff are freed to deliver their expert diet support and monitoring (for which they are generously reimbursed by HFR).

Having explained how Lipotrim is beneficial for pharmacy, tapping into this idea of expanding pharmacy services to take the pressure off GPs, it seems logical to participate. What is disheartening though is the statement:

“Irish pharmacists would welcome a bigger role for pharmacies in delivering care at the lowest level of complexity.”

Pharmacists are experts in medications and are more than capable in delivering care far above the “lowest level of complexity”.

For example: Pharmacy is already demonstrating their ability to deliver complex clinical care in the field of weight management.

Weight loss is not benign, highlighting the true worth of pharmacy healthcare professionals.

With obesity-related morbidity levels increasing unchecked, interventions requiring a high level of clinical expertise, are seemingly not being achieved through general practice.

In the case of Lipotrim, a predictable maximum safe rate of weight loss occurs (about a stone a month) often resulting in positive medical outcomes. The medical benefits can include rapid reduction of hypertension requiring blood pressure medications to be adjusted, even stopped if considerable excess weight is lost. In the case of Type 2 Diabetes, it is critical for the suspension of hypoglycaemic drugs on day 1 of the weight loss phase to prevent hypoglycaemia. These recommendations, even stipulations in the case of type 2 diabetes, are being made by pharmacists themselves.

As fate would have it, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, warned of an impending “‘significant risk’ of health spending” in the Irish Times. His response was to a question put to him by Barry Cowen, Fianna Fáil’s spokesman on public expenditure. Mr Cowen responded, saying it was “clear that there is a need to curtail health spending for the remainder of the year”.

Pharmacy clinical expertise saves EURO money-tree

How can weight loss be of benefit to the Ireland healthcare service?

A document from the Irish Heart Foundation and Social Justice Ireland, from May 2015, explains in no uncertain terms the issue Ireland has with rising levels of obesity:

“if present trends continue and no policy interventions are made, the cost of obesity will rise to over €4.3 billion in 2020 and to €5.4 billion in 2032.”

They postulate that a 5% BMI reduction across the population would, by 2020:

    “significantly reduce the incidence of chronic disease, in particular cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes. Such an improvement in the health of the population would guarantee significant long‐term savings to the exchequer.  A 5 per cent reduction in BMI by 2020 is estimated to generate savings of €394m by 2020.”

Unfortunately, Ireland like most of the world, is still governed under the premise that telling people to exercise more and eat less will finally work. An article in the Irish Medical Journal, titled: The cost of treating type 2 diabetes (CODEIRE) adds credibility to the value of tackling obesity, especially type 2 diabetes, much more seriously than we are currently.

“the annual total direct cost was estimated at 377.2 million euro for diagnosed diabetes and 580.2 million euro for both diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes. This corresponds to 4.1% and 6.4% of total healthcare expenditure respectively.”

With obesity strongly implicated in many medical conditions it seems, from Paschal Donohoe’s declaration on the dire state of the health service, that meaningful action on obesity has yet to be taken. The savings to the healthcare services, by reducing obesity levels, are clear to see.

With the Ireland health service under huge financial pressure, it is pharmacy who, by tackling obesity and weight-related co-morbidities seriously with Lipotrim, can take a clinical lead and show the way to positive medical outcomes at no cost to the health services.

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