Ozempic: The trendy drug Americans are buying in Canada due to shortages – National | Globalnews.ca

You could have heard of Ozempic – perhaps you even had it commercial jingle caught in your head.

This drug is taken into account revolutionary for the remedy of sort 2 diabetes, however the demand for it isn’t rising due to this. At larger doses, the drug can be utilized to deal with weight problems, which has led to its latest reputation on social media as a weight reduction support.

Internet commentators have speculated that Kim Kardashian used diabetes treatment to fit into Marilyn Monroe’s dress for final 12 months’s Met Gala. This 12 months’s Critics Choice Awards host Chelsea Handler joked that “everyone” in Hollywood watches Ozempic. Videos tagged with Tiktok #zempik have amassed at the least 423.1 million views — most of those movies element how a lot weight customers have misplaced whereas taking the drug.

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Ozempic’s viral rise has induced shortages within the US and Australia, and now shoppers need to Canada as an affordable place to get an out-of-stock drug.

But Ozempic shouldn’t be permitted for weight reduction, it’s for diabetes. So how did we get right here?

Ozempic vs. Vegowy

Ozempic is Novo Nordisk’s branded diabetes drug, however the medical ingredient is known as semaglutide. Semaglutide works by mimicking a hormone known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which stimulates the discharge of insulin and helps cut back blood sugar spikes.

But that is not all semaglutide can do; it is usually efficient in regulating eating regimen by focusing on areas of the mind that make an individual really feel fuller.

Novo Nordisk truly manufactures two medicine whose solely medical ingredient is semaglutide: Ozempic for sort 2 diabetes and Vegovi for weight problems. Both medicine are permitted to be used in Canada, Ozempic since 2018 and Wegovy since 2021.

Both Wegovy and Ozempic are given by injection. The solely apparent distinction between the 2 medicine is that Wegovy has a barely larger dosage of semaglutide, based on Novo Nordisk. medical bulletins.

Both medicine additionally warn of the identical severe unwanted effects—thyroid tumors and most cancers—and share comparable frequent unwanted effects, which embrace nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, and abdomen ache.

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Another facet impact is that after sufferers cease utilizing semaglutide, they’re more likely to acquire weight once more, and probably much more than they misplaced within the first place.

Study revealed within the journal Diabetes, obesity and metabolism signifies that when sufferers cease utilizing Wegovy and Ozempic, any weight misplaced is more likely to return.

Despite the similarities, Novo Nordisk instructed Global News that it “does not support the use of Ozempic for anything other than the treatment of type 2 diabetes.”

So, if Wegovy exists as an anti-obesity drug, why do individuals battle to get their fingers on Ozempic? Because Wegovy is much more scarce than Ozempic.

The Obesity Agency of Canada known as Wegovy a “game-changing drug”, calling it an efficient remedy for a often undertreated and stigmatized persistent illness.

In a weblog submit by Dr. Ian Patton, Director of Advocacy and Public Engagement at Obesity Canada, wrote that Wegovy’s endorsement in Canada was vital as a result of present unavailability of evidence-based treatments for obesity.

“This lack of protection and availability of efficient remedies is rooted in the truth that weight problems shouldn’t be acknowledged as a persistent illness, however reasonably is incorrectly labeled as a ‘lifestyle’ situation or, in different phrases, one thing that you’ve completed to your self that makes you unworthy of remedy. – Patton. wrote.

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The solely different weight problems remedy that’s about as efficient as Vegovi is bariatric surgical procedure, writes Patton, although the process typically comes with “unacceptably long wait times.”

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It has been a 12 months and a half since Wegovy was permitted to be used in Canada, however the prescription for the drug has not but been crammed right here as a result of it’s nonetheless out of inventory. Novo Nordisk stated it needed to delay the discharge of the drug in Canada resulting from “unprecedented demand.”

“We are working on commercial availability of Wegovy in Canada, but cannot confirm a timeline yet,” the corporate instructed Global News.

In the US, the place Wegovy was first permitted, shortages started shortly after Novo Nordisk started advertising the drug. preserved to this day.

“There were a few patients who were started on Wegovy but couldn’t continue,” the physician stated. Kimberly Gudzun, medical director of the American Board of Obesity, in an interview CNN.

“So, because of not being able to get Wegovy, a lot of doctors started prescribing Ozempic off-label, which they are allowed to do, to treat obesity,” she stated.

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The FDA lists Ozempic as “currently in short supply,” citing elevated demand for the drug.

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Health Matters: Canada drug provide administration

Will there be a scarcity of Ozempic in Canada?

There is no current Ozempic shortage in Canada, based on Health Canada and Novo Nordisk. That doesn’t suggest Canadians will not see provide points if demand for the drug stays excessive.

Health Canada notes that “Provinces and territories may use approved health products that go beyond the product label,” that means Canadian physicians could prescribe Ozempic for situations apart from sort 2 diabetes.

While official figures present what number of Ozempic prescriptions had been crammed off label in Canada, media stories and social media posts point out that non-diabetic Canadians are receiving the drug to deal with issues like weight problems and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). ). ).

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Novo Nordisk instructed Global News that “to ensure a continued supply of Ozempic, we ask clinicians to use Ozempic only for patients with type 2 diabetes.”

Ozempic shortages within the US might encourage shoppers to get prescribed drugs in Canada, based on the British Columbia Department of Health.

The provincial company instructed Global News that within the final 12 months ending Aug. 31, “the province filled 83,188 prescriptions for semaglutide (ozempic) … with 22 times more doses of the drug than Americans typically filled with other pharmaceuticals. ”

“Given the heightened interest in drugs due to recent social media trends and shortages in the United States, we will continue to monitor the situation,” a ministry spokesperson wrote.

It’s typically talked about on Twitter in Ozempic discussions that Americans are allowed to purchase Ozempic in Canada and might accomplish that for a a lot lower cost.

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In truth, in two latest information feeds, a Canadian on-line pharmacy marketed its companies to Americans by writing that it Ozempic in stock Another sells it much cheaper than American providers.

“There is a need for fast-acting weight loss products, and Ozempic’s lack of type 2 diabetes drugs is partly due to TikTok,” the corporate wrote. “This prescription drug may be increasingly difficult to find, but easier to get in Canada.”

In Australia, the place there may be additionally a scarcity of Ozempic, the nationwide drug regulator is investigating social media movies and media stories that illegally promoted Ozempic as a quick weight loss strategy. Last 12 months, resulting from drug shortages, the regulator urged physicians to “limit the prescribing and dispensing of semaglutide to permitted uses.” Press release.

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The British Columbia Department of Health stated it was “taking steps to ensure adequate supply” of Ozempic, however didn’t reply a query from Global News about whether or not the province would urge medical doctors to limit prescribed drugs.

While some could also be fast accountable overweight individuals for the dearth of this diabetes drug, weight problems advocacy teams are urging individuals to not denigrate the usage of Ozempic for weight reduction.

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in May 2022 Joint StatementThe Obesity Collective and Weight Issues Network argued that whereas Ozempic shouldn’t be permitted for treating weight problems, medical doctors prescribe it for weight reduction for good purpose.

“Obese people who used Ozempic did so because their doctor deemed it clinically important to their health and prescribed the medication,” the assertion stated.

“Obesity is a chronic, relapsing health condition with many different factors and causes, including social, genetic, biological and environmental, and often diet and exercise alone may not be enough to treat it.”

In a press release, Weight Network Chairman Dr. Divya Ramachandran urged individuals to have “compassion” for individuals utilizing Ozempic to deal with weight problems.

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“For those taking Ozempic, the doctor has prescribed it for a range of health issues, along with obesity,” she stated. “Please present compassion. Please do not blame or hate individuals after they simply search medical consideration for his or her well being issues.”

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