Ozempic drug Semaglutide can reduce heart risk by 20% regardless of weight loss, study shows

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Topline

Novo Nordisk’s weight loss injection semaglutide – the ingredient in the wildly popular drugs Ozempic and Wegovy – could reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, whether patients lose weight when they take it or not, new research shows. This finding strengthens the public health case for the in-demand drug, amid growing concerns about costs and ongoing supply issues.

Key facts

Patients taking semaglutide had a 20% lower risk of heart attack, stroke or death from cardiovascular disease after three years of treatment, according to an analysis of data from the five-year Select study presented at the European Congress on Obesity conference in Venice, Italy.

Select, which is funded by Novo, involves 17,604 overweight or obese adults over 45 from 41 countries, all of whom have previously had a heart attack, stroke or peripheral artery disease, but not diabetes. This is the longest clinical trial of Wegovy.

Although Wegovy’s cardiovascular benefits are now well recognized, including on the drug’s U.S. label, researchers found that patients taking semaglutide received the drug’s cardiovascular benefits regardless of their starting weight or how much weight they lost while taking it. It.

Professor John Deanfield of University College London, who led the study, said the ‘findings have important clinical implications’ and suggested semaglutide has a mechanism for lowering cardiovascular risk other than reducing unhealthy body fat. it would probably benefit from the medicine now.

Patients who took the drug for four years lost and retained an average of 10% of their body weight while continuing to take the drug, the researchers found, compared to just 1.5% in the placebo group.

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Important background

Novo’s semaglutide, along with Eli Lilly’s tirzepatide, the drug in the blockbusters Zepbound and Mounjaro, are at the forefront of a promising class of drugs called GLP-1 agonists that are making waves in public health and the pharmaceutical industry. The drugs mimic the action of an intestinal hormone that plays a role in regulating satiety and blood sugar levels. They were initially used to treat diabetes – like Mounjaro and Ozempic – before being used to treat obesity and, more recently, cardiovascular disease. According to growing reports and emerging research, a host of other conditions could also benefit, including sleep apnea, addiction, anxiety, Parkinson’s, kidney disease and fatty liver disease. Obesity itself is an ongoing public health problem and the weight loss industry is booming even without the health aspect, meaning demand for the drugs often exceeds supply. Both Novo and Lilly readily acknowledge that they can’t keep up and while a range of competitors, from startups to pharmaceutical titans, are rushing to bring their own products to market, it will take years for these products to make it and there is no guarantee. they will match or outdo the incumbents.

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Read further

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ForbesBernie Sanders Urges Ozempic Maker Novo Nordisk to Be Honest About ‘Outrageously Expensive’ US Drug Prices

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