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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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Celebrity endorsements lead to diabetes medicine Ozempic shortage

Jan 04, 2023

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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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There’s a shortage of the diabetes drug Ozempic due to people using it for weight loss. The shortage is making it harder for diabetics to find the important medicine. 

Ozempic helps people with type two diabetes lower their blood sugar and A1C. Ozempic is the brand name for semaglutide, which stimulates insulin secretion and helps control blood glucose levels. But it also suppresses appetite for people trying to lose weight.

The FDA approved semaglutide to treat obesity in June 2021. Since then, a number of celebrities, social media influencers and even doctors have been making rounds on TV and other platforms endorsing its weight loss potential.

In Nov. 2022, Elon Musk tweeted, “Down 30 lbs!”

When asked what made the most difference, he responded, “Fasting + Ozempic/Wegovy + no tasty food near me.”

There was no indication Musk’s answer was a paid endorsement.

Novo Nordisk, the company that makes Ozempic, acknowledged the shortage and told Straight Arrow News it is experiencing intermittent supply chain disruptions. As a result, patients in some areas of the country will experience delays in doses. The problem could be solved as soon as this month. The company also pointed out that it manufactures two drugs specifically for weight management.

Novo Nordisk also told Straight Arrow News it, does not promote, suggest, or encourage off-label use of our medicines and is committed to fully complying with all applicable U.S. laws.”

“We trust that healthcare providers are evaluating a patient’s individual needs and determining which medicine is right for that particular patient,” the company said.

The Chief Medical Officer for the American Diabetes Association told Straight Arrow News if diabetics can’t get treatment when they need it, their blood glucose can increase, ultimately leading to complications including heart attack and death.

“The ADA feels strongly that people who have a medical condition should have access to treatment. We’re very much concerned about anything that limits access to effective treatments for diabetes,” Dr. Robert Gabbay stated.

There is a difference between semaglutide sold as Ozempic for diabetes and semaglutide sold as Wegovy for weight loss. Novo Nordisk said the drugs are not interchangeable and have different prescribing information, dosages and delivery devices.

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Ozempic! 

 

You may have seen the ads for Ozempic, a diabetes drug that can help lower blood sugar and A1C for type two diabetics. But unless you’re on tiktok or other social media sites following certain influencers, you may not have seen the ads trying to sell it as a way to lose weight. 

 

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In November Elon Musk tweeted: down 30 pounds! When he was asked what made the most difference – he said fasting plus Ozempic/Wegovy plus no tasty food for me. 

But because of all the buzz around its weight loss potential, there’s a shortage. And that is making it harder for some people who need the drug to control their diabetes to find it. The Chief Scientific and Medical Officer for the American Diabetes Association told Straight Arrow News if diabetics aren’t able to use the medication, their blood glucose increases and this can lead to higher chances of complications, including heart attacks and death. 

 

For diabetics, semaglutide stimulates insulin secretion and helps control blood glucose levels. But it also suppresses appetite for people trying to lose weight.  

 

Dr. Gabbay added: “The ADA feels strongly that people who have a medical condition should have access to treatment. We’re very much concerned about anything that limits access to effective treatments for diabetes.”  

 

Novo Nordisk, the company that makes Ozempic acknowledged the shortage and told Straight Arrow News they are experiencing intermittent supply chain disruptions. As a result, patients in some areas of the country will experience delays in doses. 

 

Novo Nordisk also told Straight Arrow News it “does not promote, suggest, or encourage off-label use of our medicines and is committed to fully complying with all applicable US laws..” “We trust that healthcare providers are evaluating a patient’s individual needs and determining which medicine is right for that particular patient.” 

 

The company also pointed out that they manufacture two drugs specifically for weight management.  The company is working to solve the problem, and it could be fixed this month.