(NewsNation) — Pharmacies and clinics throughout the nation have been promoting generic variations of the drug Ozempic, following a surge in demand after customers reported its effectiveness at weight reduction.
A kind of individuals is Jason Jacobson, a nurse practitioner who final 12 months opened a wellness clinic in Florida the place he affords sufferers semaglutide, the energetic ingredient in Ozempic. He was impressed by his stepdaughter Ashley Dunham, who misplaced greater than 100 kilos on the drug.
She started taking it to assist with polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, which led to weight achieve.
“Research have proven that GLP-1 remedy is the main therapy for girls with PCOS, and I want that extra ladies knew that,” Dunham stated Monday on “CUOMO.” “So, I’ve taken it, I take my as soon as weekly injection blended with correct eating regimen and train, I am going to a private coach just a few occasions every week and I’ve been capable of lose 106 kilos as I stand earlier than you as we speak.”
Generic variations of Ozempic and one other semaglutide drug Wegovy have turn out to be an choice for sufferers who have hassle getting their arms on the identify model, which may price over $1,000. Websites providing semaglutide merchandise tout reductions that deliver the remedy all the way down to solely $100 or $200 a month.
Nonetheless, medical professionals have been warning towards the usage of the off-label medicine due to uncertainty about what different compounds are blended in through the manufacturing course of.
Officers have been warning individuals of the well being points that may come from utilizing unregulated variations of the drug since stories surfaced about sufferers utilizing semaglutide which were compounded in on-line pharmacies.
“Sufferers and well being care professionals ought to perceive that the company doesn’t assessment compounded variations of those medicine for security, effectiveness, or high quality,” an FDA discover from late Might stated.
As well as, Norvo Nordisk, which manufactures Ozempic and Wegovy, has stated it’s taking “a number of actions,” together with lawsuits, towards counterfeit and compounded semaglutide merchandise, as the corporate says these might “expose sufferers to well being dangers.”
Jacobson says he “comply with(s) the rules of the producer” when recommending semaglutide therapy to his sufferers, and advises them of any related dangers.
“There’s inherent threat with any remedy, however when the pharmacists are compounding the remedy to the specs of the way in which through which the remedy was designed or created, I feel that the protection profile is fairly good,” Jacobson stated.
Ozempic is an authorised diabetes drug, whereas Wegovy is an FDA-approved weight reduction drug. The FDA has not authorised a generic model of the medicine, and patents on them are anticipated to final till 2032.
Dr. Michael Feiz, a bariatric surgeon, is amongst these cautioning sufferers to be cautious about what they’re taking.
“Any time there may be such a requirement for this remedy, there’s additionally the potential of wrongdoers, of individuals which are going to adulterate this remedy in methods that’s going to make them extra money,” Feiz stated. “But it surely might make it on the very least not efficacious, through which case they only say, ‘the remedy didn’t give you the results you want.’”
NewsNation digital producer Cassie Buchman contributed to this report.