Wegovy slashes risk of heart attack and stroke, drug maker claims

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By Dan Sears

Wegovy could be good for more than just weight loss — the once-weekly semaglutide shot has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

The popular obesity medication successfully decreased the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs) by 20% while observed over a five-year period, the drug’s manufacturer Novo Nordisk announced on Tuesday.

Comparing a 2.4-milligram dose of semaglutide, the active ingredient in Wegovy, to a placebo, the landmark SELECT trial researchers observed 17,604 adults over the age of 45 who were overweight or obese and had heart disease but no history of diabetes.

“People living with obesity have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease but to date, there are no approved weight management medications proven to deliver effective weight management while also reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular death,” Martin Holst Lange, the executive vice president of development at Novo Nordisk, said in a statement.

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“Therefore, we are very excited about the results from SELECT showing that semaglutide 2.4 milligram reduces the risk of cardiovascular events.”

Wegovy in boxes on table
In the landmark trial, Wegovy was shown to reduce the risk of MACEs by 20%, compared to the placebo group.
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The 17,604 study participants were over the age of 45 with established cardiovascular disease but no history of diabetes.
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The double-blind trial suggests there could be more to weight loss than aesthetics.

In addition to shedding some extra pounds and staving off obesity-related health consequences, semaglutide, in the form of Ozempic, has been shown to possibly fight both addiction and cancer.

While Wegovy “has the potential to change how obesity is regarded and treated,” according to Lange, it can be difficult to access.

For those with well-endowed wallets, forking out the $1,300 cost is a no-brainer, but for others, it could be “prohibitive” — especially if employer-funded insurance refuses to foot the bill.

Not to mention the slew of side effects patients report, which ranges from sagging skin and excessive belching to explosive diarrhea and stomach paralysis, the latter of which is at the center of a lawsuit against Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of Mounjaro.

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Wegovy shot up close
In the trial, Wegovy “appeared to have a safe and well-tolerated profile,” according to the announcement from Novo Nordisk.
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A Novo Nordisk rep told The Post last week that they “are not aware of a lawsuit.”

On Tuesday, the company reported that the recently trialed dose of semaglutide “appeared to have a safe and well-tolerated profile.”

The manufacturer announced that it plans to present the trial’s findings at a conference later this year and hopes to file for regulatory approval of a “label indication expansion” — or a new use for the drug — in the US and EU in 2023.

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