PHILADELPHIA, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Novo Nordisk (NOVOb.CO) on Saturday said the heart protective benefits of its wildly popular Wegovy obesity treatment are due to more than weight loss alone, according to new data presented at a major medical meeting on Saturday.
Early data from the Danish drugmaker's Select trial released in August demonstrated that Wegovy, which has been shown to help patients lose an average of 15% of their weight, also reduced incidence of heart attack, stroke or death from heart disease by 20%.
The FDA approved this stuff for Type II diabetes in 2017. It is now five years later, more or less. The 2mg (higher) dose was approved less than two years ago.
There is no long-term data on these drugs because nobody has a time machine. The mechanism of action is known but we have very poor fully-systemic understandings of the human body and in particular the endocrine system. We like to claim otherwise but that's a lie.
The drug has a known adverse impact on the pancreas and there is some evidence it can damage or destroy the kidneys over time. Destruction of either the pancreas of kidneys will kill you, and before you die you will be severely and permanently injured -- all at great medical expense, of course.
In addition to this there is some evidence the drug has a risk of causing heart attacks and strokes, so how is it that it is now claimed "protective"? Can both be true? Sure; one can be true over the short term and the other when used for increasing lengths of time.
Of course the problem with the "short term" benefit is just that; it doesn't last and to keep it you have to keep using it and take the longer terms risks. How does that balance out? I don't know, but from what I can see not only does nobody know nobody wants to know.
Here's what I do know, because its irrefutable fact: The increase in metabolic syndrome, Type II diabetes and its complications, all of which are very bad, very expensive, ruin your quality of life and may eventually kill you are environmental and thus are absolutely subject to your control. They have to be because genetic differences don't occur over this sort of a timeline -- ever. Therefore it is being caused by one or more things that have changed in what people do. The strongest correlation lies with the ridiculously-increased level of consumption of both fast carbohydrates and vegetable oils of all sorts, none of which were in common use even 50 years ago and 100 years ago for all intents and purposes did not exist outside of those who were extraordinarily wealthy.
Nobody consumed a thousand kcal of sugar a day unless you were a King (who were notoriously fat -- go figure) because nobody else could afford to do that. In addition animal husbandry for recorded time has intentionally fed grains to animals of all sorts for the explicit purpose of fattening them up, which it very-reliably does irrespective of their species. Indeed but for such forced-feeding fois gras would not exist!
I foolishly watched a college football game the other day on network television. Virtually all the ads were for pharmaceuticals and all of them featured glowing, beautiful scenery and imagery. Nowhere was the dude who took whatever and then had a heart attack shown with the Paramedic on top of him pounding away on his chest! The industry calls them "side effects" as if they're neutral (side, not forward or reverse) when in fact they're all ADVERSE effects, that is, things you don't want to happen.
Is there a place for possibly quite-dangerous drugs in medicine? Sure. Steroids, for example, are extraordinarily nasty drugs with a whole list of really ugly adverse effects that can screw you blind. But in certain circumstances they can also save your life. The same is true for many antibiotics; some (absent allergic sensitivity) are pretty benign but not all; fluoroquinolones, for example (all the ones ending in "-floxacin") have a very significant risk of causing tendon ruptures. These can be long-term or even permanently damaging; the Achilles, for example, is a rupture that can result in permanent compromise particularly when it comes to any sort of athletic activity and the injury can come months after you stop using the drug, suggesting that the damage, once incurred, may be permanent.
Nonetheless if you have a bacterial infection these drugs treat and don't use them the bacterial infection may kill you. Is it thus worth it? Well, dead is worse than compromised athletic activity, right? Oh by the way Zpak and cephalosporins have also shown up as associated with this risk, although the strength of that risk is less-qualified. Note that there is now a black box warning on these antibiotics -- which did not come until 2016 although that class of drug was put on the market 20 years earlier!
Simply put until time passes you can't possibly know what the long-term impact is since nobody has a time machine and yet everyone rushes to the new shiny thing as soon as someone pops up with it in the medical field. This frequently leads to a trail of dead and permanently-damaged people.
Don't be the lab rat folks. In 20 years perhaps these drugs will prove to be as good as they first appear. Maybe.
But this much I can tell you for certain: Getting the vegetable oils, which never existed in nature in any material consumable quantity, along with the fast carbs out of the group of things that go down your pie hole will not hurt you as none of them contain anything essential to human life and nutrition. Further, we know fast carbs have an intended and expected effect of making you fat because we have used carbohydrates this way all the back to biblical times (e.g. "the fatted calf") for the explicit purpose of making animals fat.
Want to change the world? Make it unlawful for a restaurant or other facility that serves food to the public (including schools) to use vegetable or plant-derived oils without a "black box" warning on the menu and/or prior to taking one's order and specific identification of each and every such oil used and ban them entirely where minors are served.
Oh, and while you're at it?
Tell me again why every so-called "public health" official, never mind hospital administrators, physicians and nurses, isn't swinging from the gallows. Here's a 58.8% effective method of reducing your risk of winding up in the hospital or worse from Covid and it has a zero risk associated with it. Yes, you read that right, zero. Yet the authors call this "small potential benefit" -- yes, a 6 in 10 reduction in going to the hospital (which of course precedes you going to the morgue) is now classified as "small" so the fear is maintained and you'll take a shot.