MTT #76: Can Rx weight-loss drugs help prevent heart attacks, too?

The weight-loss drug Wegovy reduces serious heart disease, the nation’s No. 1 cause of death, according to a new clinical trial.

Proponents of the drug describe this finding as an added bonus to the drug’s prescribed purpose: shedding excess pounds.

In a nation where 60% of the population is obese or overweight and where 600,000+ die from cardiovascular events each year, the question is how can we afford not to prescribe more of these lifesaving medications?

The answer is complicated, says podcast cohost Dr. Robert Pearl, who explains that the cost of drugs in the U.S. remains disproportionately higher than in all other nations. The price of Ozempic (another drug known to assist with weight-loss) costs five times more in the United States than in Japan and 10 times more than in most European nations.

When it comes to paying for drugs that could make a huge difference in our nation’s health, who’s on the hook? That question and many others are answered on this episode of “Medicine: The Truth.

Also featured on today’s program:

  • The newest coronavirus variant: the most-transmissible yet?
  • A newly approved medication for post-partum depression
  • Why middleclass families have the nation’s highest medical debt
  • Measuring the medical performance of AI vs. doctors
  • Striking the right balance when regulating drugmakers
  • The folly of BMI (body mass index) calculations
  • Right arm or left: Does it matter when getting Covid vaccinations?
  • Using pig kidneys for humans in need of a transplant
  • The new leading cause of death for America’s kids
  • The cost imbalance of weight-loss drugs in U.S. vs. elsewhere
  • Reflecting on Robert Burgelman’s appearance on FHC
  • The unending debate over physician autonomy
  • Biden places 10 drugs on discount list for Medicare negotiations

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Dr. Robert Pearl is the author of a book about medicine’s invisible yet highly influential physician culture. Check out “Uncaring: How Physician Culture Is Killing Doctors & Patients.” All profits from the book go to Doctors Without Borders.

Fixing Healthcare is a co-production of Dr. Robert Pearl and Jeremy Corr. Subscribe to the show via Apple, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you find podcasts. Join the conversation or suggest a guest by following the show on Twitter and LinkedIn.