On Thursday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about the seizure of thousands of units of counterfeit Ozempic from the US drug supply chain.
Ozempic is a drug that’s meant for patients with type 2 diabetes. However, a social media trend has meant that it’s now in high demand for weight loss purposes, despite having a multitude of potentially serious side effects.
Following the recent seizure, The FDA has urged caution among suppliers, pharmacies, and patients. While five people have reported illness related to these counterfeit products, none of the cases have been deemed serious, according to the FDA.
Pharmacies, healthcare systems, wholesalers, and patients are advised by the FDA to thoroughly verify products to ensure authenticity. Injectable Ozempic products with one milligram, bearing the lot number NAR0074 and serial number 430834149057 on the box, should not be used.
The FDA, in collaboration with drugmaker Novo Nordisk, is conducting tests on the counterfeit products to assess their potential dangers and identify the substances involved.
It has been revealed that the pen label, carton, patient and healthcare professional information, and needles accompanying the injectors are all counterfeit. The sterility of these needles cannot be confirmed, posing a risk of infection if used.
Patients are also reminded by the FDA to only use medication from state-licensed pharmacies with a valid prescription.
Additionally, the FDA has been issuing warnings to online sellers, urging them to cease the sale of counterfeit products. Novo Nordisk has taken legal action to prevent medical spas, clinics, and weight loss centers from selling fake versions.
The FDA is collaborating with federal agencies and Novo Nordisk to eliminate additional counterfeit semaglutide injectable products. Consumers with questions or those who come across fake products are encouraged to contact Novo Nordisk or report the products through local FDA consumer complaint coordinators or on the FDA’s website.