Houston patients struggle to find Ozempic as popularity for weight loss drugs skyrockets across social media – KPRC Click2Houston

Haley Hernandez, Health Reporter
Haley Hernandez, Health Reporter
HOUSTON – The drug Semaglutide was initially marketed under the name Ozempic to manage type two diabetes. Last year, Semaglutide was approved by the FDA to be used for weight loss under the name Wegovy.
Social media has nicknamed them “skinny pens” because they help people drop significant weight quickly, leading to the popularity and a shortage of both Ozempic and Wegovy.
The drug manufacturer Novo Nordisk confirms it’s struggling to meet demand and Houston patients, like Lauren Luman, say she doesn’t know what she’ll do.
“I reached out to my doctor again letting them know that I was still experiencing that shortage, at that time they were able to give me some more samples, but they said, ‘We’re not sure how long we’re going to continue to have the samples available,’” Luman said.
Ozempic helped Luman lose weight and control her blood sugar. Now, she says she’s getting the same answer at every pharmacy she visits.
“It’s been weeks or months since they’ve had any supply,” Luman said.
Endocrinologists have said they’re frustrated patients cannot find their medication. However, endocrinologist Dr. Disha Narang, suggests there’s a need for successful weight loss drugs on the market.
“Our nation is, you know, there’s an epidemic of obesity as well and we need to treat the obesity to prevent diabetes in the first place,” Dr. Narang said.
Doctors are not doing anything wrong by prescribing Ozempic for obesity. According to the FDA, healthcare professionals can choose to prescribe drugs off-label when medically appropriate.
“Its intended use is for it to be an anti-diabetic prescription,” Luman said. “So, if people are taking it just for the sake of weight loss, I feel like maybe they should step back and allow the people that have type two diabetes and really need it to lower their A1C the ability to get this prescription.”
According to one study, the weight loss may return once the patient discontinues use.
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