Weight Loss Drug Fracas Continues as Risk of Shortages Grows



April 17, 2023 – People have flocked to Canada to get the dear, and really fashionable, weight reduction drug Ozempic. However Canadians are saying not so quick. 

British Columbia, a province in Canada, is banning People from buying the drug, which was created to deal with sort 2 diabetes, “to guarantee that diabetes sufferers in British Columbia don’t expertise a scarcity of the diabetes drug semaglutide (Ozempic) in an atmosphere the place surging demand in some jurisdictions is creating shortages.”

The drug can value as much as $1,000 per thirty days within the U.S. In the meantime, in Canada, Ozempic can value round $300 a month.

The British Columbia Ministry of Well being launched a report that stated hundreds of U.S. residents have been filling their Ozempic prescriptions in its area. Out of the Ozempic disbursed in British Columbia, 15% (15,798 doses) had been offered to People in January and February of this 12 months.

Don’t be stunned if different Canadian provinces comply with swimsuit, stated Walter Oronsaye, PharmD, a Houston-based pharmacist who creates on-line content material with details about pharmaceuticals, together with drug shortages

“If Ozempic is just not used for diabetes functions, more often than not it’s not coated by insurance coverage,” he stated. “That $1,000 a month is just not one thing that lots of people can afford. So, I believe it is very seemingly for different elements of Canada to ban it as properly.”

Actually, Canada’s nationwide well being minister stated late final week he is working with different provinces to forestall mass export of the drug to U.S. sufferers, Canadian media reported.  

Mark Decerbo, PharmD, a Las Vegas-based pharmacist, stated medical doctors often prescribe “off-label drugs.” He additionally stated that British Columbia’s energy transfer might be the perfect transfer as properly.

“Undoubtedly, the recognition of this drug, each due to its efficacy, in addition to its social media footprint, have contributed to shortages, as have the omni-present international provide chain disruptions of the uncooked supplies wanted to supply the drug,” he stated. “Typically, I totally help British Columbia’s ban on Ozempic purchases for People, as any nation’s focus ought to at all times be on prioritizing the well being and well-being of its personal residents over others.”

Going Viral 

One of the crucial controversial points within the Ozempic dispute: Individuals who don’t have diabetes have been taking Ozempic solely for weight reduction, leaving some folks with sort 2 diabetes with out very important medicine. 

Social media platforms, together with movie star endorsements, have tremendously boosted the recognition, and gross sales, of Ozempic for weight reduction – which has added to the shortages.

“There are Fb teams providing methods for folks to get Ozempic at cheaper costs,” Oronsaye stated. “I’m certain there’s a bunch that found that folks may purchase Ozempic in Canada.”

Folks with out diabetes who take Ozempic say the controversy has been overblown. Annie Brown, 33, does not have diabetes and takes the drug to shed kilos. After being chubby her complete life, she loves that Ozempic makes your abdomen “really feel full even when you’re not.” 

Brown referred to as Ozempic “a miracle drug”. She misplaced 14 kilos inside 6 weeks of taking the drug, which is made by Novo Nordisk. She has gotten some on-line pushback, with some saying that she is going to acquire weight if she stops taking it. “You are stealing from the diabetics” and “It is best to really feel ashamed of your self” are different feedback she has acquired.

Carol Sortore, who’s pre-diabetic however doesn’t have sort 2 diabetes, takes Ozempic to shed extra pounds after her physician prescribed the medicine, which her insurance coverage additionally covers. She says she understands the frustration of people that have diabetes if they can not get Ozempic resulting from shortages, but additionally stated they’ve “a plethora of insulin choices obtainable to them,” which isn’t at all times the case for overweight folks.

“If a person and their doctor have decided that it is a plan of action for somebody with out diabetes to take, then I don’t assume they need to really feel responsible,” Sortore stated.