The World Health Organization warns the public to stay away from counterfeit Ozempic or “fauxzempic” products. The agency recently received reports of drugs counterfeited to appear as the diabetes and weight-loss drug Ozempic being unapproved in at least three countries, including the United States.

The World Health Organization issued a Medical product alert regarding the counterfeit drug on Wednesday, along with a public announcement on Thursday. The alert relates to three fraudulent payments discovered in three countries. Two batches were discovered last October in Brazil and the United Kingdom, respectively, while a third batch was detected in the United States last December. Ozempic’s manufacturer, Novo Nordisk, has reportedly been confirmed to have confirmed that the three committed the fraud.

In one batch, the product was labeled with a fake batch number. In another batch, the combination of batch numbers and serial numbers did not match official records. In the third, the batch number was accurate, but the actual product was counterfeit.

“WHO advises healthcare professionals, regulatory authorities and the public to be aware of these falsified batches of medicines,” Yukiko Nakatani, WHO Assistant Director-General for Access to Medicines and Health Products, said in a press release. statement From the agency. “We call on the relevant authorities to stop any use of suspicious medications and to inform the relevant authorities.”

The active ingredient in Ozempic is semaglutide, which is part of a class of drugs known as incretins. Incretin interacts with or mimics hormones that regulate our sense of hunger and blood sugar, among other functions, as semaglutide mimics GLP-1. In clinical trials, semaglutide and other newer incretins have appeared Proven To be more effective in treating obesity than diet and exercise alone. Ozempic is only approved for type 2 diabetes, but a separate, higher-dose version of semaglutide was approved for obesity under the name Wegovy in 2021. After Wegovy’s approval, Ozempic became routinely prescribed off-label for weight loss as well.

Unfortunately, demand for these medications often exceeds supply. This shortage, combined with high list prices (over $1,000 per month) and low insurance coverage, has led to Gray and black market For drugs.

Some people get GLP-1s from compounding pharmacies, which are typically used to create customized medications for patients with special needs, such as medications that are free of certain allergens. These pharmacies serve a legitimate purpose and are supposed to obtain their active ingredients from controlled facilities, but many places that sell the compound semaglutide do so illegally. According to To the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. Regulators have also begun to find fake Ozempic products made to look like the real thing. In at least some cases, the products already contained insulin and users did as well in the hospital With low blood sugar and seizures as a result of taking excessive doses of it.

While these compounded and counterfeit medications tend to be much cheaper than the official version, at least without insurance coverage, they are also more dangerous to take, due to the lack of regulation and oversight. The World Health Organization advises people who need these medications to obtain them from licensed doctors and avoid purchasing them from unfamiliar places, especially online pharmacies.

“The use of counterfeit OZEMPIC may lead to ineffective treatment for patients due to incorrect dosage, contamination with harmful substances, or the use of unknown or substitute ingredients. It may pose other serious risks to health due to its subcutaneous injection, which may be life-threatening,” the World Health Organization noted in its warning. .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *