US FDA seizes thousands of units of counterfeit diabetes drug Ozempic used for weight loss

US consumers have been warned to be careful when buying diabetes medicines used as weight loss drugs after the seizure of thousands of counterfeit doses of Ozempic.The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that it could not guarantee the safety of the counterfeit drugs, warning that some may even be stocked in pharmacies.“Some counterfeit products may still be available for purchase,” the agency said.It was not clear how the counterfeit drugs entered the supply chain.The FDA warned wholesalers, pharmacies and health care professionals to check for the serial number 430834149057 and to abstain from selling or using products with this number.The agency further stated that it was conducting a safety analysis along with manufacturer Novo Nordisk, adding that it did “not yet have information about the drugs’ identity, quality, or safety.”Ozempic is approved in the US as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes but is also often prescribed “off label” by doctors as an obesity cure.Fit, ripped and healthyThe drug is part of a growing market for diabetes drugs used to reduce people’s weight.Wegovy, a drug made by Novo Nordisk with a higher dose of the active ingredient in Ozempic, has shot to prominence after various celebrities described it as a wonder cure for their weight problems.US tech mogul Elon Musk has claimed that the drug is part of the reason that he is “fit, ripped and healthy.”The craze has spread from celebrities to the general public with the hashtag #ozempic being viewed more than a billion times on TikTok.On the social media channel, users talk of the benefits of taking the drug for weight loss while others discuss side effects or complain that they have been taking it incorrectly.The success of the drug, approved for use in the UK by the NHS earlier this year, has seen Danish manufacturer Novo Nordisk rise to become one of the world’s most valuable companies.At one point this year the company had a valuation of £350 billion, more than the size of the entire Danish economy.

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