The Internet is a crazy space. If something has been posted online, it will reach the mass in no time. Recently, a TikTok influencer suggested using the Type-2 diabetes medication, Ozempic (semaglutide) for weight loss. As soon as the video went viral, the Australian citizens began purchasing the medicine in bulk, leading to a shortage of diabetes medicine.
In a joint statement, the Therapeutic Goods Administration confirmed the shortage of medicine with several medical bodies. As quoted by The Guardian, the statement read, “The increased demand is due to extensive prescribing for obesity management, for which Ozempic is not indicated. The shortage is significantly affecting people using Ozempic for its approved use for type 2 diabetes,”
The popularity of the injectable drug used to improve blood sugar level in type 2 diabetic patients increased when US Food and Drug Administration approved Wegovy, a semaglutide injection for chronic weight management in adults. The medicine was given approval for usage in people suffering from obesity and underlined diseases such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol.
After this, various social media influencers tried using it for weight management and shared their reviews online. While the medicine was not approved in Australia for weight loss, still the Australian population started using it causing a shortage of medicine.
Highlighting the side effects of the medicine such as nausea and vomiting, Dr. Karen Price, General Practitioners president of Royal Australian College told the publication, “There are lots of issues people need to be aware of but most importantly, it’s not yet approved in Australia or the UK for weight loss. It’s being used off-label, which means that this huge demand is now stopping people who have a genuine need for the medication for their diabetes,”
Also, as per experts, weight loss is not just management of a single medicine but is an overall lifestyle practice. People must be aware of the overall application of taking unprescribed drugs.