5 Ozempic updates

Ozempic, a diabetes treatment that has caught the attention of Elon Musk, TikTokers and WeightWatchers for its off-label use of weight loss, has landed in five recent headlines: 

1. In a $132 million deal, WeightWatchers agreed to purchase telehealth company Sequence, which digitally prescribes weight-loss drugs like Ozempic, the company said March 6. 

2. The American Diabetes Association revamped its guidelines to recommend Ozempic and other newer drugs as preferred treatments for Type 2 diabetes over metformin, which targets high blood sugar. The newer medications can help with not only high blood sugar but also with hypertension, kidney disease and obesity. 

3. A controversial telehealth startup that launched in 2020 as a COVID-19 testing company and recently switched gears to focus on diabetes drugs touted for their weight-loss abilities, including Ozempic, pulled ads amid criticism and questioning over whether it displays accurate and complete information. 

4. Amid a shortage in which diabetes patients are rationing their treatments, some pharmacies stopped stocking the drug because they are underpaid in reimbursements, local pharmacies told NBC News

5. As demand surges, 20 cities have reported heightened prescriptions for the drug ranging between 109 percent and 158 percent increases.

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