When Denmark-based Novo Nordisk launched Wegovy and Ozempic they were not prepared for what was to follow. The drug Ozempic is approved for diabetes and helps people lose weight, while Wegovy is a higher dose, and is approved for just weight loss.
Both drugs gained worldwide fame thanks to viral videos on Tiktok a short-form video hosting service that has skyrocketed the demand for both drugs worldwide. On TikTok, #Ozempic and #Ozempic weight loss have more than 400 million views, and as of Dec. 5, 2022, #Wegovy and #Wegovyweightloss have grabbed more than 170 million views.
The popularity of the drugs grew further after Elon Musk, responded to a question about how he looked “fit, ripped and healthy, he tweeted that ” he was taking Wegovy. Andy Cohen posted about Ozempic’s growing popularity. Variety also reported that actors and producers “are quietly singing the drug’s praises” on Signal, an encrypted messaging app.
These viral videos and celebrity endorsements have triggered a shortage of both drugs. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, there is a global shortage of the two FDA-approved drugs and the drugmaker has missed out on millions of dollars due to supply issues. To date, Wgovy has made $700 million in sales — more than $1 billion less than the figure analysts assigned to it.
According to the FDA’s drug shortage website, the reason for Ozempic being in short supply is a high demand; while Wegovy’s is listed as “Requirements related to complying with good manufacturing practices.”
However, according to a CBS report, Wegovy and Ozempic are very powerful and patient use must be monitored by doctors. The report noted that many doctors don’t understand the medications and some are being pressured by their patients to prescribe them, which explains why some doctors are prescribing them with no regard for putting in the proper things on the forms. Regulators are considering punitive measures against these doctors and some risk losing their licenses and other things if they continue such practices.
Most people online who thought they could just inject themselves with the drugs are coming back sick, Tiktok is littered with stories of people falling sick after they injected the wrong dose. Here is a warning from Dr Rx The Tiktok Pharmacist