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After an alarming new study came out suggesting a link between semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic and Wegovy, and a condition that can cause blindness, some experts are calling foul.

Published in the journal JAMA Opthalmology, the new analysis out of Harvard linked semaglutide to non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION), a neurological disorder that blocks blood flow to optic nerves and can ultimately result in blindness.

In the analysis, which was drawn from records on more than 16,000 patients at Harvard's Mass Eye and Ear Hospital, researchers found that people prescribed semaglutide appeared to be between four and seven times more likely to develop NAION than those who took other drugs.

While those figures are indeed pretty jarring, medical experts — and, strikingly, financial analysts intrigued by the drug's market implications — are urging caution before reading too much into the study.

Andrew Lee, a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology and a neuro-ophthalmologist at the Houston Medical Center, told NBC Los Angeles that although he has patients who developed NAION and were prescribed semaglutide, it remains unclear whether "this is a causal association or merely an association alone."

That's because, as that article notes, people with Type 2 diabetes — which is nominally required for an Ozempic prescription — are at increased risk for vision problems, including NAION. Other risk factors for the disorder include sleep apnea and hypertension, which are also well-known comorbidities for both diabetes and being overweight.

Lee said that semaglutide could plausibly be causing NAOIN, but until further study is done, it's "premature to conclude" that there's a causal relationship between the two — a statement echoed by the Harvard researchers behind the study, who urged further investigation into the link.

As always, investors are also concerned about the way such negative press might affect the earning power of these game-changing medications. Indeed, the stock for Novo Nordisk, the Danish drugmaker behind Ozempic and Wegovy, plummeted after the study first dropped last week. And as Fierce Pharma reports, money men at the Leerink Partners investment firm are urging clients not to read too much into the tea leaves.

"Larger retrospective studies, post-marketing analyses of [glucagon-like peptide-1 agonists], and/or prospective clinical trials would be required to confirm the findings," the firm's note read.

At the end of the day, those critics are right regardless of where they're coming from. One thing's for sure, though: the millions of patients taking semaglutide deserve urgent follow-up research into any possible health risks associated with the drug.

More on Ozempic: Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders Demands Drug Companies Cut Price of Ozempic and Other New Weight Loss Drugs

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