Advocacy group accuses Novo Nordisk of violating FDA’s ‘fair balance’ advertising rules – Endpoints News

A non-profit advocacy group has filed a complaint with the FDA accusing Novo Nordisk of creating promotional materials for its weight-loss drug Wegovy, posing as a CBS news segment.

The complaint filed Thursday by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine addresses a 13-minute clip of a 60 minutes episode that aired on January 1, featuring two Boston area doctors consulting for Novo Nordisk.

While CBS cited Novo Nordisk as an advertiser on the air, the Physicians Committee says the segment violates FDA’s “fair balance” requirements for advertising and urges regulators to demand that the segment be withdrawn and that Novo releases corrective ads.

“Although it was shot during a regularly scheduled episode of CBS’s hit series 60 Minutes“The Wegovy promotion meets the definition of an advertisement,” the lawsuit says. “No medical experts not paid by Novo Nordisk appeared, nor did the promotion discuss alternative products or approaches to address obesity.”

The group also struggles with words used during the segment to describe the drug, including “safe,” “great,” and “robust.”

Wegovy was approved in June 2021 as a weekly injection for chronic weight management in adults. It contains the same drug, semaglutide, as the company’s type 2 diabetes drug, Ozempic, just at a higher dose. In a follow-up episode, one of the doctors returns to explain how Wegovy and Ozempic work.

Novo Nordisk has denied the allegations. The company reports this in an e-mail Endpoints News:

Novo Nordisk did not pay or sponsor CBS 60 Minutes for their coverage of obesity as part of a news segment that aired January 1, 2023, and we had no control over the content or played a role in identifying or selecting the doctors and patients in the news segment.

Novo Nordisk had halted Wegovy promotions in March due to supply problems, but said in November it was planning a “broad commercial relaunch” in the new year.

Last month, the company reported a shortage of Ozempic caused by “incredible demand coupled with general global supply constraints.” While Novo declined to confirm whether the shortages are due to off-label use of Ozempic for weight loss, it did acknowledge that some providers may be prescribing the drug for such uses. The issue is expected to be resolved in early 2023, according to a recently updated report from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

Advocacy group accuses Novo Nordisk of violating FDA’s ‘fair balance’ advertising rules – Endpoints News

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