Drug maker paid for “information” story on CBS’s 60 Minutes, medical doctors’ group alleges

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A broken watch.
Enlarge / A damaged watch.

A 13-minute phase on a current episode of CBS’s 60 Minutes gave the impression to be a information story on Novo Nordisk’s weight-loss drug Wegovy, however was really a sponsored promotion violating federal laws, in line with the nonprofit public well being advocacy group Physicians Committee.

The group filed a grievance with the Meals and Drug Administration final week, arguing that the phase, which aired on January 1, violates the FDA’s “truthful steadiness” requirement. This regulation requires that drug ads give a good steadiness to a drug’s dangers and advantages.

The Physicians Committee claims that CBS’s 60 Minutes obtained promoting funds from Novo Nordisk previous to the protection, and that the aired phase solely included consultants who had additionally been paid by Novo Nordisk. The phase lauded the drug with phrases and phrases similar to “extremely efficient,” “protected,” “spectacular,” “fabulous,” and “strong,” however did not delve into unintended effects or various remedies and methods for weight reduction.

“The 60 Minutes program appeared like a information story, however it was successfully a drug advert,” Physicians Committee President Neal Barnard, adjunct professor of drugs at George Washington College College of Medication, stated in an announcement. He famous that Wegovy has a spread of potential dangers and unintended effects that went unmentioned in CBS’s protection, similar to digestive issues, elevated coronary heart price, gallstones, pancreatitis, and critical drops in blood sugar. The drug additionally poses dangers for people who find themselves pregnant or could turn out to be pregnant.

The group is in search of to have all of CBS’s Wegovy-related tales—there are 4—pulled from its web sites and a “corrective advert” that incorporates dangers and unintended effects put up of their place.

In an announcement to media shops, Novo Nordisk stated:

Novo Nordisk didn’t present any cost or sponsorship to CBS 60 Minutes for his or her reporting on weight problems as a part of a information phase that aired on January 1, 2023, and we didn’t management any of the content material or have any position in figuring out or choosing the medical doctors and sufferers featured within the information phase.

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