FDA Approves Drug That Helps Diabetes, Weight Loss

A new diabetes drug that lowers blood sugar and also helps people lose weight has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The once-a-week injection drug Ozempic (semaglutide) is approved for people with type 2 diabetes. It stimulates the body's insulin production and reduces appetite, the Associated Press reported.

The drug is from Danish company Novo Nordisk. A company-funded study of 1,200 type 2 diabetes patients found those who took Ozempic had average reductions in long-term blood sugar levels at least 2.5 times greater than those who took the daily diabetes pill Januvia.

Patients who took Ozempic also lost two to three times as much weight as those in the comparison group, the AP reported.

Many people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. Substantial weight loss can help lower their blood sugar and better control their diabetes.

Novo Nordisk is also assessing Ozempic separately for weight loss alone.

Ozempic costs $676 for a four- to six-week supply without insurance. Novo Nordisk also markets a similar once-a-day shot, Victoza, the AP reported.

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