Weight Loss Miracle or Risk? Novo Nordisk Faces Emotional Crossroads

Novo Nordisk Drugs Safety Concerns: Eye Condition Risks

Novo Nordisk’s Market Position and Drug Approval

Novo Nordisk drugs has become Europe’s leading company, with a valuation exceeding Denmark’s GDP last year. Its blockbuster drugs, like Wegovy, help with weight loss and regulate blood sugar. In March, the FDA approved Wegovy for lowering heart disease risk.

Safety Concerns with Novo Nordisk Drugs

Novo Nordisk drugs face scrutiny over safety. Some patients have reported severe side effects, including stomach paralysis and suicidal thoughts. A University of British Columbia study found an increased risk of bowel obstruction and pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas.

The drug labels already warn about pancreatitis and some types of bowel obstruction. Both Ozempic and Wegovy also list vision changes as a potential side effect.

New Study and Investor Reactions

A recent U.S. study analyzed data from 16,827 patients from December 2017 to November last year. The study suggests that more research is needed to determine if semaglutide, a key ingredient in Novo Nordisk drugs, causes eye conditions.

Despite a Harvard report linking Novo Nordisk drugs to a rare eye condition, investors remained calm. The study suggests semaglutide may increase the risk of nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION), a rare eye disease.

Analysts’ Opinions and Market Impact

Analysts called the study “hardly a game-changer.” Novo Nordisk’s shares saw little change on Thursday. They dipped in early trading but rose 0.1% by 11:17 a.m. London time.

The Harvard report found that patients with type 2 diabetes or obesity using semaglutide had a higher risk of NAION. This condition can lead to vision loss in one eye. Compared to those not using the drugs, these patients were more likely to be diagnosed with NAION.

Safety Evaluation and Future Outlook

Although the research suggests some link with a rare eye condition, Deutsche Bank analyst Emmanuel Papadakis called the evidence “very low” with “wide error bars.” He believes the worst-case scenario might be a label update, which he considers “hardly a game-changer.” Papadakis views semaglutide medications as “one of the most derisked therapeutic classes in industry history from a safety perspective.”

A Novo Nordisk spokesperson stated that NAION is not listed as an “adverse drug reaction” for semaglutide according to approved labels. They noted “key methodological limitations” in the study, such as the “small number of individuals” with type 2 diabetes or obesity who were exposed to semaglutide. “Patient safety is a top priority for Novo Nordisk. We take all reports about adverse events from our medicines very seriously,” the spokesperson said.


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