Months into a shortage of Ozempic — a popular drug for its off-label weight-loss use — diabetes patients are rationing the product, The Wall Street Journal reported Feb. 22.
The drug’s stardom has long caught headlines, from celebrity endorsements and TikTok trends to concerns about “Ozempic face” and more diabetes drugs falling into shortage. It was approved in 2017 to treat diabetes, but its use has recently soared as Novo Nordisk rushes to speed up production, according to the Journal.
As Ozempic supply flounders, Robert Gabbay, MD, PhD, chief science and medical officer of the American Diabetes Association, told the Journal physicians should prioritize prescriptions for diabetes patients.
“I certainly understand how people struggle with weight and need to find something that works,” Jerrod Balzer, a Type 2 diabetes patient in Wayland, Mo., told the Journal. “I just think that people who really need it to survive shouldn’t have to sacrifice it for weight.”
He said he switched to alternative treatments, and others said they reduced their doses.