"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

What happens when a drug goes viral?

The current shortage of Semaglutide (Ozempic), a vital diabetes drug, has an unusual origin: too many individuals without Diabetics are taking it. Here's the way it happened, and the way we will fix it to be certain the individuals who need it most get it.

A diabetes drug with one major side effect: weight reduction

Semaglutide (Ozempic) was first approved by the FDA in 2017 to assist individuals with type 2 diabetes control blood sugar. But during a pre-approval study, researchers noticed a notable side effect: People lost weight. For example, i An important studyAverage negative effects for those receiving one milligram of semaglutide every week were:

  • Lost about 10 kilos in 30 weeks.
  • About 5% total body weight lost
  • Waist size shrunk by 1.6 inches.

This side effect helps individuals with type 2 diabetes because being obese is a significant risk factor for the condition. Among other health advantages, weight reduction can lower blood sugar and blood pressure, and reduce the necessity for other diabetes medications.

Turning a side effect right into a selling point

Unintended weight reduction will often be listed as a side effect of the study drug. But Ozempic ads It is not listed Along with other possible negative effects; Instead, it was highlighted as a bonus. The Ozempic “Tri-Zone” (a phrase coined by marketers, not medical examiners) guarantees higher blood sugar control, reduced cardiovascular risk and weight reduction.

At the underside of the ad, nice print that's easy to miss says: “Ozempic is not a weight-loss drug.” Talk about mixed messages!

The makers of Ozempic saw semaglutide's potential as a weight reduction drug for people without Diabetes Certainly, clinical trials have confirmed that obese and obese people lose significant amounts of weight even when taking semaglutide. Semaglutide received FDA approval in 2021 for people who find themselves obese (BMI 30 or greater), or who're obese (with a BMI of 27 to 29.9) and who've a medical problem related to being obese, resembling hypertension. Blood pressure or high cholesterol. As a weight reduction drug, it was rebranded as Vigovi.

The only difference between the 2 drugs? The maximum approved dose of semaglutide is barely higher with Wegovy than with Ozempic.

How Social Media Fueled Ozympic's Decline

Immediately after approval of Vigovi, Celebrities and social media influencers started taking it up. And sharing glowing weight reduction experiences. Furthermore, drugs approved for specific uses within the United States could also be prescribed off-label. anyone Use: Up to 38% of all prescriptions are written off-label within the US (Note: automatic PDF download). So, it's likely that a few of the things that went viral on Wegovi were fueled by individuals who desired to reduce weight but had no medical reason to take it.

Vigovi cuts supply after high demand, Many people turn to Ozympic for weight loss.. And it contributed to the Ozympic shortage, which threatened the health of individuals with type 2 diabetes who depend upon the drug.

Correct priorities and limit irresponsible suggestion.

This situation couldn't occur without doctors or other health care professionals willing to put in writing Ozympic prescriptions for individuals who wouldn't have diabetes or one other medical reason to make use of semaglutide. And it suggests an obvious solution: Limit Ozampic prescriptions to individuals with diabetes. For many drugs, the prior authorization process requires certain conditions to be met before the prescription may be filled. This may be done for Ozempic.

And in fact, we should always encourage individuals who don't have diabetes to not request a prescription for Ozempic. While this message is unlikely to seem in a drug ad, public service announcements can do the trick.

The bottom line

Drug advertisements often urge you to ask your doctor if a treatment is true for you. But we already know a vital a part of Ozempic's answer: If you don't have diabetes, don't ask for a diabetes drug to show you how to reduce weight. If you might be obese or obese, there are higher ways to get the assistance it's good to reach a healthy weight. Talk to your doctor in regards to the full range of treatment options. And in case your weight is already in a healthy range, it's not a superb idea to take medication to reduce weight.

Finally, to maintain critical medications available to those that need them most, healthcare professionals must prescribe them responsibly. Responsible requests from their patients might help.