FDA approves diabetes drug that also helps with weight loss

FILE - This Oct. 14, 2015, file photo, shows the U.S. Food & Drug Administration campus in Silver Spring, Md. On Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017, the FDA rejected an experimental drug for a common type of muscular dystrophy. The drug from PTC Therapeutics was intended for Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients with a certain genetic mutation. The muscle-destroying disorder affects 1 in 3,500 to 5,000 boys in the U.S. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — U.S. regulators have approved a new diabetes drug that reduces blood sugar levels and also helps people lose weight.

The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved the once-a-week shot for people with Type 2 diabetes.

Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk says the drug will cost about the same as similar drugs at $676 for a four- to six-week supply without insurance.

The drug, called Ozempic (oh-ZEHM’-pic), comes in injector pens. It stimulates insulin production and reduces appetite.

On average, the medicine reduced long-term blood sugar levels at least 2 ½ times as much as a popular daily diabetes pill in one big study. It also helped study participants lose two to three times as much weight as those in the comparison group given Merck & Co.’s Januvia.

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