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June 8, 2021

Around the nation: FDA approves obesity drug that helped people drop nearly 15% of their weight

Daily Briefing

    FDA on Friday issued an approval for Wegovy, a higher-dose version of a diabetes drug called semaglutide, for the treatment of obesity, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, New Jersey, and Utah.

    • District of Columbia: FDA on Friday issued an approval for Wegovy, a higher-dose version of semaglutide, a diabetes drug developed by Novo Nordisk, to treat obesity. In clinical trials, Wegovy helped participants lose nearly 15% of their weight compared with just 2.4% weight loss in a placebo group. According to Harold Bays, medical director of the Louisville Metabolic and Atherosclerosis Research Center, Wegovy seems to be much safer than previous obesity drugs, with the most common side effects in clinical trials being gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting (Johnson, AP/ABC News, 6/4; Cohen, Forbes, 6/5).
    • New Jersey: Gov. Phil Murphy (D) on Friday signed legislation that ended the state's public health emergency but kept in place 14 executive orders related to managing the state's recovery from Covid-19. The executive orders remaining include suspensions of evictions, utility shutoffs, and insurance coverage termination for nonpayment. The new legislation also says any Covid-19 directives issued by Murphy cannot go beyond CDC recommendations unless there is a "substantial" spike in Covid-19 hospitalizations or spot positivity, or if other viral transmission metrics increase (Sutton, Politico, 6/4).
    • Utah: Intermountain Healthcare's insurance plan, SelectHealth, has named Marti Lolli as CEO, effective in July. Lolli has previously served as chief marketing officer and SVP of consumer and government markets at Priority Health. She will succeed Mike Cotton, who resigned in January, and will take over for Bob White, VP and COO of SelectHealth, who is serving as interim CEO (Tepper, Modern Healthcare, 6/3; Haefner, Becker's Hospital Review, 6/3).

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