September 15, 2023
by Ben Berkley
People can’t stop talking about Ozempic, the buzziest diabetes and weight loss drug in memory. Ozempic is an injectable medication: users prick themselves with a pre-loaded syringe once per week. But while Ozempic is so popular that it’s led to shortages, there’s been hardly any hype for Rybelsus, an oral form of the exact same drug. Why aren’t people talking about Rybelsus? Is it just as good as Ozempic?
Rybelsus is essentially Ozempic in the form of a pill rather than an injection.Ozempic and Rybelsus are made by the same manufacturer, Novo Nordisk, and have the same active ingredient, semaglutide.
Weight loss with Ozempic has garnered enormous buzz on social media. Even though it’s a treatment for Type 2 diabetes, many people are using the medication off-label to shed pounds — a famous side effect.
But other known common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain and constipation, according to Novo Nordisk, the pharmaceutical giant that makes Ozempic.
Demand for the drug, which patients self-inject once a week, has been so high that it has led to shortages for people who need it for Type 2 diabetes and fueled a cottage industry for people who want to get a prescription without seeing a doctor in person.
JAN. 23, 2021
A team of researchers from the Montreal Heart Institute believe they have found an effective weapon against COVID-19: colchicine, an oral tablet already known and used for other diseases.
For Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, who led the study, this is a “major scientific discovery,” he said. Colchicine is the first “effective oral drug to treat out-of-hospital patients.”
“To be able to offer this, from Quebec, and for the planet, we are very happy,” said Tardif.
The ColCorona study involved 4,159 patients whose diagnosis of COVID-19 had been confirmed by a nasopharyngeal test (PCR).
SEP. 30, 2020
WASHINGTON — A handful of newly elected Democrats, including Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Katie Porter of California put drug industry CEOs on the defensive Wednesday like they’ve never been before.
The trio of freshman lawmakers used an Oversight Committee hearing to press the CEOs of Teva, Celgene and Bristol-Myers Squibb — painfully and directly — on the results of an 18-month investigation into the pricing of two drugs: Teva’s Multiple Sclerosis drug copaxone and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s multiple myeloma drug revlimid
Los Angeles Times
SEP. 14, 2020
WASHINGTON — One of the world’s largest drug companies has been aggressively raising prices even as it received hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. government aid to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
AstraZeneca, which the Trump administration has lauded for its vaccine work, boosted prices despite renewed promises by President Trump this summer to keep drug costs in check.
August 5, 2020
There’s no shortage of excuses that people give for not wearing a face mask while exercising during the Coronavirus pandemic: Face masks are cumbersome, they’re uncomfortable, and they make it hard to breathe. Many people have even subscribed to the myth that masks actually deplete oxygen levels while working out. But Tom Lawton, an ICU doctor from the United Kingdom, recently disproved that theory by testing it out himself—all while nearly completing a marathon.
New York Times
July 27, 2020
The first large study of the safety and effectiveness of a coronavirus vaccine in the United States began on Monday morning, according to the National Institutes of Health and the biotech company Moderna, which collaborated to develop the vaccine.
March 4, 2020
Citing a need to strengthen the existing warning about the risk of neuropsychiatric events associated with the drug, the FDA is now requiring a boxed warning in the labeling of Merck’s (MRK +4.6%) asthma med Singulair (montelukast sodium) and generic versions of the leukotriene receptor antagonist.
The agency says the precise incidence of said events is unknown but there have been reports of serious cases. It is also requiring a new medication guide to be given to patients with each prescription.
The New Your Times
March 9, 2020
As the coronavirus gained a foothold in the United States this weekend, thousands of employees from Seattle to Silicon Valley were told to work from home. Public school districts in several states have shut down, universities are moving classes to online only, and even churches are limiting services or prayer meetings.
As the coronavirus spread to two-thirds of the states, Americans began to grasp the magnitude of the threat facing them. The weekend’s case tally ballooned, veering toward nearly 600 cases and close to 20 deaths.
March 6th 2020
Just a week ago, the first “community spread” of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) was detected in the United States: a woman in Northern California who hadn’t been exposed to anyone known to have the virus.
Before her diagnosis, people in the United States were only thought to be at risk for COVID-19 if they had recently traveled to a high-risk area abroad or been exposed to someone who was sick.
But the woman in California hadn’t traveled internationally, nor had she been in contact with anyone with the infection.
This suggests that person-to-person transmission may be more likely than we originally anticipated.
New York Times,
March 3th, 2020
With the Coronavirus continuing to spread to more countries on Tuesday and epidemics in Iran, Italy and South Korea showing no signs of slowing, governments worked to devise plans to combat the pathogen without causing widespread social disruption and economic upheaval.
January 22th 2020
A local congressman is fighting to lower prescription drugs for American families.
“My fear is that I won’t be able to afford it,” said Chris Burrows, diabetes patient.
For diabetics, like Burrows, a vial of insulin could mean life or death. But skyrocketing prices could impact who gets it and who doesn’t.
Burrows attended a roundtable discussion hosted by Congressman Dan Kildee on Tuesday to voice his concerns.
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