Top news stories from AMA Morning Rounds®: Week of May 29, 2023


Read AMA Morning Rounds®’ most popular stories in medicine and public health from the week of May 29, 2023–June 2, 2023.

The AP (6/1, Aleccia) reports that the FDA “is warning consumers not to use off-brand versions of the popular weight-loss drugs Ozempic (semaglutide) and Wegovy (semaglutide) because they might not contain the same ingredients as the prescription products and may not be safe or effective.” FDA “officials said this week that they have received reports of problems after patients used versions of semaglutide, the active ingredient in the brand-name medications, which have been compounded, or mixed in pharmacies.” The issue “is that those versions, often sold online, contain a version of semaglutide that is used in lab research and has not been approved for use in people.”

The Hill (6/1, Migdon) reports, “Some states have been sounding the alarm as off-brand versions of Ozempic and Wegovy have flooded the markets.” Health “regulators in Louisiana, West Virginia, Mississippi, and North Carolina raised concerns recently about the safety of some of the compounded drugs, and states have tried to take action to curb their manufacturing.”

The Washington Post (5/31, Reynolds) reports, “Exercise can sharpen your thinking and keep your brain healthy as you age—even if you don’t start exercising until later in life,” investigators concluded in a study involving functional magnetic resonance imaging that “recruited 33 volunteers in their 70s and 80s, about half of whom were experiencing mild cognitive impairment, a loss of thinking skills that often precedes Alzheimer’s disease.” The study revealed that “previously sedentary 70- and 80-year-olds who started exercising, including some who had already experienced some cognitive decline, showed improvement in their brain function after workouts.” The findings were published online in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease Reports.

ABC News (5/30, Kekatos) covers a report by the CDC finding that among foodborne illness “outbreaks where a contributing factor was identified, four in 10—or 41%—were caused by food contamination from ill or infectious employees.” This includes “handlers, workers or preparers making either gloved or barehanded contact with food.”

The AP (5/30, Aleccia) reports, “Norovirus and salmonella...were the most common cause of 800 outbreaks, which encompassed 875 restaurants and were reported by 25 state and local health departments.” CDC investigators “called for better enforcement of ‘comprehensive food safety policies,’ which emphasize basic measures like hand washing and keep sick workers off the job.”

NBC News (5/30, Bendix) reports, “Around 92% of the managers the CDC interviewed said their establishment had a policy requiring food workers to report symptoms if they feel sick, but just 66% said those policies were written.” Additionally, “just 23% said their restaurant’s policy listed all five of the symptoms that guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration suggest warrant notifying a manager: vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, sore throat with fever or a lesion with pus.”

Healio (5/30, Burba) reports, “Compared with reoffering colonoscopy and fecal immunochemical test alone, offering a blood test as a secondary option resulted in a nearly twofold increase in colorectal cancer screening in veterans who had declined first-line screening,” according to research. Results of the randomized, controlled trial were published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

The New York Times (5/26, A1, Weiland) reported, “Hundreds of thousands of low-income Americans have lost Medicaid coverage in recent weeks as part of a sprawling unwinding of a pandemic-era policy that prohibited states from removing people from the program.” Early data indicate “many people lost coverage for procedural reasons, such as when Medicaid recipients did not return paperwork to verify their eligibility or could not be located. The large number of terminations on procedural grounds suggests that many people may be losing their coverage even though they are still qualified for it.” In addition, “many of those who have been dropped have been children.”

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