Weight Loss Drug Fracas Continues as Threat of Shortages Grows

April 17, 2023 – People have flocked to Canada to get the expensive, 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 kind 2 diabetes, “to 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 price as much as $1,000 per 30 days within the U.S. In the meantime, in Canada, Ozempic can price round $300 a month.

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

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

“If Ozempic isn’t used for diabetes functions, more often than not it’s not lined by insurance coverage,” he stated. “That $1,000 a month isn’t one thing that lots of people can afford. So, I believe it’s extremely probably for different components of Canada to ban it as properly.”

In truth, Canada’s nationwide well being minister stated late final week he is working with different provinces to stop mass export of the drug to U.S. sufferers, .  

Mark Decerbo, PharmD, a Las Vegas-based pharmacist, stated medical doctors steadily prescribe “off-label drugs.” He additionally stated that British Columbia’s energy transfer may very well be the most effective 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 provide the drug,” he stated. “Basically, I absolutely assist British Columbia’s ban on Ozempic purchases for People, as any nation’s focus ought to all the time be on prioritizing the well being and well-being of its personal residents over others.”

Going Viral 

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

Social media platforms, together with celeb endorsements, have vastly 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 positive there’s a bunch that found that individuals might purchase Ozempic in Canada.”

Individuals with out diabetes who take Ozempic say the controversy has been overblown. Annie Brown, 33, would not have diabetes and takes the drug to shed kilos. After being chubby her entire life, she loves that Ozempic makes your abdomen “really feel full even in the event 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’s going to achieve weight if she stops taking it. “You are stealing from the diabetics” and “You need to really feel ashamed of your self” are different feedback she has obtained.

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

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

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