Top news stories from AMA Morning Rounds®: Week of Nov. 13, 2023


Read AMA Morning Rounds®’ most popular stories in medicine and public health from the week of Nov. 13, 2023–Nov. 17, 2023.

The New York Times (11/15, Holpuch) reports, “Amazon said on Wednesday that it was removing seven eyedrops products from its website after the Food and Drug Administration warned the company that the eyedrops had not been recognized as safe and effective.” The agency “said in a letter to Andrew Jassy, Amazon’s chief executive, on Monday that Amazon had violated federal regulations by selling the eyedrops, which claimed to help with problems including pink eye, dry eyes, eyestrain and floaters.” The products removed were “Similasan Pink Eye Relief, The Goodbye Company Pink Eye, Can-C Eye Drops, Optique 1 Eye Drops, OcluMed Eye Drops, TRP Natural Eyes Floaters Relief, and Manzanilla Sophia Chamomile Herbal Eye Drops.” 

USA Today (11/14, Cuevas) reports that the American Lung Association’s “annual ‘State of Lung Cancer’ report Tuesday showed the average survival rate of five years following a cancer diagnosis increased from 22% in 2015 to 26.6% in 2019.” However, this “report showed gaps across states with treatment and survival rates.” For instance, “patients in Kentucky had the lowest overall survival rate, whereas people in Utah had the highest.” Meanwhile, “Rhode Island had the highest survival rate after five years, at 33.3%; Oklahoma had the lowest at 21%.” 

The Washington Post (11/14, Malhi) reports that “when comparing communities of color with White individuals, the data show that Black people had a 16% lower survival rate, and Latinos were 9% less likely to survive.” The data also indicated that “Asian people were 14% more likely to survive compared with White people, while American Indians and Alaska Natives had about the same survival rate as their White peers.” 

Membership Moves Medicine™

  • Free access to JAMA Network™ and CME
  • Save hundreds on insurance
  • Fight for physicians and patient rights

CNN (11/13, McPhillips) reports, “Women in the United States can expect to live nearly six years longer than men, as disparities in deaths from COVID-19 and drug overdoses drive the life expectancy gap to the widest it’s been in decades.” Among the general population, “life expectancy in the U.S. fell more than two and a half years since the start of the pandemic—down to 76.1 years in 2021, according to data from the” CDC. During the first two years of the pandemic, the gap widened “by 0.7 years.” In 2021, women’s life expectancy “was 79.3 years, compared with 73.5 years for men—a gap of 5.8 years, the largest difference since 1996.” 

The New York Times (11/13, Ghorayshi) reports the data were published in JAMA Internal Medicine. In particular, the study showed “men have died of COVID at a higher rate than women. The reasons for this are complicated. Biological factors, like differences in inflammation and immune responses, likely played a significant role.” Additionally, “unintentional injuries—mostly drug overdoses—contributed to more than 30% of the life expectancy gap between men and women.” 

USA Today (11/11, Weintraub) reported, “The weight-loss drug Wegovy” (semaglutide) “can help people with pre-existing heart conditions avoid a repeat heart attack or stroke, according to a study.” The study “found a 20% reduction in heart attack and stroke risk among patients whose body mass index, or BMI, is high enough to be considered ‘overweight’ or ‘obese.’” The findings were presented at the AHA Scientific Sessions 2023 and published simultaneously in The New England Journal of Medicine. 

Healio (11/11, Kalvaitis) reported, “In the SELECT trial, treatment with weekly injectable semaglutide 2.4 mg was superior to placebo for reducing cardiovascular risk in adults with preexisting heart disease and overweight or obesity but without diabetes.” 

The AP (11/16, Johnson) reports “advances in childhood cancer are a success story in modern medicine.” However, “in the past decade, those strides have stalled for Black and Hispanic youth, opening a gap in death rates, according to a new report” from the CDC published Thursday. Death rates were roughly “the same for Black, Hispanic and white children in 2001, and all went lower during the next decade.” However, “over the next 10 years, only the rate for white children dipped a little lower.” 

NBC News (11/16, Mogg) reports “the rate of child and teen cancer deaths in the United States fell 24% between 2001 and 2021, according to” the report. The CDC’s “report looked at death rates for Black, Hispanic and non-Hispanic white youths up to 19 years old.” Death rates among youth “of all ages in those groups dropped between 2001 and 2011.” However, “after 2011, only children 9 and younger saw ‘significant’ declines.” 

The Hill (11/16, Weixel) reports “the drop is mostly due to advances in treating childhood leukemia.” Death rates among children due to leukemia “declined 47% between 2001 and 2021, the CDC found.” 

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