The supply for Ozempic has become so dire that those with type 2 diabetes have been urged to pre-order the medication as soon as possible to avoid missing out.
The drug has been approved only for the use of type 2 diabetes but has been off-labelled by GPs as weight loss treatments for patients, leading to many pharmacies running out of the medication.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration recently released a statement urging health professionals to limit prescribing Ozempic for its approved use only.
‘The increased demand is due to extensive prescribing for obesity management, for which Ozempic is not indicated,’ the statement read.
Diabetics are struggling to get their hands on vital medication after it was widely endorsed by influencers on TikTok as a miracle weight loss drug
‘The shortage is significantly affecting people using Ozempic for its approved use for type 2 diabetes.’
‘To ensure you have access to the supplies that are arriving in Australia contact your usual pharmacy as early as possible to have your prescription filled.
‘This will give them time to arrange for the medicine to be available when you need it. Do not wait until you run out (or are close to running out) of your medicine.
‘If you do not have type 2 diabetes and have been prescribed semaglutide (Ozempic) for another condition, your pharmacist may not be able to fill your prescription because of the current shortage.’
One influencer boasted about losing a dress size in three weeks ‘without trying to diet’.
The supply for Ozempic has become so dire that those with type 2 diabetes have been urged to pre-order the medication as soon as possible to avoid missing out
She said she was prescribed Ozempic by her GP before the shortage and is not a diabetic.
Ozempic is injected once a week into the stomach.
Countless other TikTokkers revealed their own weight loss journeys with the medication.
One said she was on her fourth week of using the medication and had lost four kilograms.
The hashtag #Ozempic has more than 74million views on TikTok.
Royal North Shore Hospital Endocrinologist Sarah Glastras said it would be weeks until the supply issue is resolved.
‘Patients are getting wind of it as a weight loss drug and riding the wave and getting more than they need so the supply chain is very low,’ she said at the General Practice Conference & Exhibition (GPCE) on Monday.
Ozempic has been widely endorsed on TikTok from countless women sharing their weight loss stories
‘It’s obviously a sign of a good thing. It’s fantastic the medication is very effective for people with obesity too and it’s under review by the regulatory body the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for weight loss approval in Australia.
‘But until it is, doctors should not be prescribing off-label.’
Dr Gary Deed from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners said there were other TGA-approved medications for the management of obesity.
‘All the efficacious management does involve supportive dietary change and physical activity. So, patients seeking through TikTok one stream one solution, management for obesity is probably a little naive,’ he told The Australian.
Ozempic works to suppress the appetite and makes the stomach feel fuller for longer.
It costs $139 and has side effects like indigestion, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and constipation.
Ozempic works to suppress the appetite and makes the stomach feel fuller for longer