Weight-loss Medication Alert – Beware of Ozempic
Multiple individuals in Austria have been hospitalized following the use of a suspected counterfeit weight-loss medication, Ozempic.
Austria’s Federal Office for Safety in Health Care (BASG) has reported that these patients experienced “serious side effects,” including seizures and dangerously low blood sugar levels.
The BASG investigation revealed that the counterfeit drugs contained insulin instead of Ozempic’s active ingredient, semaglutide. Ozempic has gained popularity as a weight-loss treatment.
The Austrian Criminal Intelligence Service (BK) has disclosed that the affected individuals had received the counterfeit syringes from a doctor based in Austria. They are cautioning that supplies of the counterfeit drug may still be in circulation. Notably, the imitation injection pens were colored in a darker shade of blue compared to the authentic products.
Austria’s Federal Office for Safety in Health Care is urging both doctors and patients to review their medication supplies. They stressed that Ozempic is increasingly being used for weight loss purposes, despite not being approved for such use.
Local authorities in Austria, including the police and the Ministry of Health, have strongly advised against using purported weight-loss injections obtained from questionable sources.
It’s worth noting that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recently warned of a shortage of Ozempic due to surging demand for the medication for its non-approved weight loss purposes.
Last week, the EMA and the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued a joint warning regarding counterfeit Ozempic injection pens. These counterfeit items, originating from suppliers in Austria and Germany, were identified at wholesalers in the UK and the European Union.
The MHRA has confirmed that all affected pens have been recalled, and none of them have been distributed to UK patients. They are collaborating with international regulatory partners to safeguard the integrity of the broader supply chain, both domestically and internationally.