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Top news stories from AMA Morning Rounds®: Week of June 17, 2024


Read AMA Morning Rounds®’ most popular stories in medicine and public health from the week of June 17, 2024–June 21, 2024.

The AP (6/20) reports, “The World Health Organization and drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co. are warning people to be wary of fake versions of popular weight-loss and diabetes medicines.” On Thursday, “WHO said...that it has fielded several reports of fake semaglutide—the active ingredient in Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy and Ozempic—in all geographic regions of the world since 2022.” Meanwhile, “Lilly said in an open letter that it was ‘deeply concerned’ about growing online sales and social media posts involving phony or compounded versions of tirzepatide, the active ingredient behind its drugs Mounjaro and Zepbound.”

Reuters (6/20, Ghosh, Singh) reports, “Lilly and Novo have sued several entities to stop them from selling products claiming to contain the active ingredients tirzepatide and semaglutide that are used in their respective popular diabetes and weight-loss drugs.”

You may also be interested in: How to find reliable health information, weight loss drug research and GLP-1 side effects.

MedPage Today (6/17) reports, “Fixing the health care system’s problems will be a top priority of American Medical Association (AMA) President Bruce Scott, MD, an otolaryngologist from Louisville, Kentucky, who was sworn into his new position on June 8 at the AMA’s annual House of Delegates (HOD) meeting in Chicago.” Scott “spoke online with MedPage Today Washington Editor Joyce Frieden about what he hopes to accomplish as AMA president.” Scott said, “The health care system should help doctors provide good care, not get in the way. Anything that places a burden or an obstacle between a physician and their patient and providing that good care is something that I’m going to attack, and that begins with the administrative burdens, and that’s followed rapidly by the reimbursement issues.”

Editor’s note: Read highlights from Dr. Scott's inaugural address at the 2024 AMA Annual Meeting in Chicago. Or learn more about reforming Medicare, reducing burnout and uniting physicians.

The New York Times (6/17, Barry) reports, “The United States Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, announced on Monday that he would push for a warning label on social media platforms advising parents that using the platforms might damage adolescents’ mental health.” Warning labels—similar to “those that appear on tobacco and alcohol products—are one of the most powerful tools available to the nation’s top health official, but Dr. Murthy cannot unilaterally require them; the action requires approval by Congress.” Such labels “would send a powerful message to parents ‘that social media has not been proved safe,’ Dr. Murthy wrote in an essay published in The New York Times opinion section on Monday.”

The Washington Post (6/17, A1, Lima, Gregg) reports Murthy “cited evidence that adolescents who spend significant time on social media are at greater risk of experiencing anxiety and depression and that many young people say the platforms have worsened their body image.” However, according to the Post, “there is still significant debate within the scientific community about the extent to which social media use may be causing mental health issues among children and teens.”

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The Washington Post (6/17, McMahan) reports, “Sedentary coffee drinkers had a 24% reduced risk of mortality compared with those who sat for more than six hours and didn’t drink coffee, according to the lead author of a study published recently in the journal BMC Public Health.” In the study, “researchers reported that non-coffee drinkers who sat six hours or more per day were 58% more likely to die of all causes than coffee drinkers sitting for less than six hours a day, indicating both the risk of sedentary behavior and the benefit of coffee drinking.” And “those who drank the most coffee (more than two cups per day) showed a 33% reduced risk of all-cause mortality and 54% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease mortality compared with non-coffee drinkers.”

You may also be interested in: What doctors wish patients knew about caffeine.

The Washington Post (6/15, A1, O'Donovan) reported, “Since Amazon acquired the primary-care service One Medical, elderly patients have been routed to a call center – staffed partly by contractors with limited training – that failed on more than a dozen occasions to seek immediate attention for callers with urgent symptoms, according to internal documents seen by The Washington Post.” Ever “since Amazon formally acquired One Medical in February 2023 in a $3.9 billion deal, the company has alarmed patients and employees by eliminating free rides, shortening appointments and laying off staff.” Now, this new “evidence of potentially life-threatening situations at the Tempe call center is raising fresh concern that Amazon’s frugal approach to health care may be imperiling patient safety.”

AMA Morning Rounds news coverage is developed in affiliation with Bulletin Healthcare LLC. Subscribe to Morning Rounds Daily.