The FDA is failing patients again
It’s too easy to get drugs like Wegovy for weight loss instead of diabetes, according to a report on the Today show. What are the FDA and drug companies doing to ensure it gets to patients who need the drug versus those who have the money for off-label use?
Ozempic, the Type 2 diabetes treatment, has been in short supply for months as people who don’t have diabetes seek the drug for its most famous side effect: weight loss. The prescription medication, which patients self-inject once a week, is trending on social media. Some users call it “the skinny pen” and swap stories about shedding pounds with Ozempic.
More than a dozen telehealth websites advertising Ozempic for weight loss, including one that announced people could request an Ozempic online prescription, with same-day prescriptions available.
Most patients don’t understand that weight loss is only substantial with higher doses, and 73% of people who use the higher dose have significant side effects.
Dr. Priya Jaisinghani, an endocrinologist at NYU Langone, clinical assistant professor at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, and a physician certified with the American Board of Obesity Medicine was alarmed by how easily the Ozempic prescriptions could be obtained. It’s not appropriate for people without Type 2 diabetes to receive a prescription for the drug, Jaisinghani notes. But she says she regularly treats patients who suffered complications after being prescribed Ozempic from telehealth providers without guidance.
This is happening because some in the media use headlines like “the end of obesity” instead of really looking h