Ozempic, a diabetes drug that can help people lose weight, is facing shortages following demand and global supply constraints.
The company said that while the product continues to be manufactured and shipped, patients in some areas of the country will experience delays with certain doses and instructed anyone concerned with continuity of treatment to contact their health care provider.
Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk said the 1 mg and 2 mg doses of Ozempic are currently available for patients nationwide. However, there are supply disruptions affecting the Ozempic pen that delivers 0.25 mg and 0.5 mg doses
“While we recognize that some healthcare providers may be prescribing Ozempic for patients whose goal is to lose weight, it is up to the clinical discretion of each healthcare provider to choose the best treatment approach for their patients,” Novo Nordisk told Fox News Digital in a statement. “Novo Nordisk does not promote, suggest, or encourage off-label use of our medicines and is committed to fully complying with all applicable US laws and regulations in the promotion of our products. We trust that healthcare providers are evaluating a patient’s individual needs and determining which medicine is right for that particular patient.”
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In November, the Australian government warned that the company informed its Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) that Ozempic would not be available in the country from mid-November 2022 until the end of March 2023.
“The TGA is working with Novo Nordisk and the relevant health professional organizations to manage this serious shortage,” it said.
U.S. regulators approved the medication in December 2017, which also reduces blood sugar levels.
The once-a-week shot is for people with Type 2 diabetes and Ozempic – also known as semaglutide – works by stimulating the body’s own insulin production and reducing appetite. It is not a weight-loss drug.
Four years later, the Food and Drug Administration approved Wegovy – a higher-dose version of semaglutide – for long-term weight management.
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In recent weeks, the drug has gained attention as celebrities and TikTok influencers have described taking it to lose weight quickly.
“Everyone is suddenly showing up 25 pounds lighter. What happens when they stop taking #Ozempic ?????” Bravo host Andy Cohen tweeted in September.
On TikTok, the hashtag #Ozempic has been viewed over 313 million times.
Twitter chief Elon Musk tweeted that he had been taking Wegovy to lose weight in October and November.
However, doctors are warning against using Ozempic, cautioning that benefits can be short-lived.
Some side effects other than weight loss include changes in vision, possible thyroid tumors, pancreatitis, kidney problems and gall bladder issues.
“There are side effects of this drug, but there are side effects of any drug,” Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel said in October, “so I feel comfortable prescribing it – but I don’t think anyone can take any drug.”
Fox News’ Elizabeth Pritchett, Angelica Stabile and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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