April 17, 2023 – Individuals have flocked to Canada to get the expensive, and really stylish, weight reduction drug Ozempic. However Canadians are saying not so quick.
British Columbia, a province in Canada, is banning Individuals from buying the drug, which was created to deal with kind 2 diabetes, “to guarantee that diabetes sufferers in British Columbia don’t expertise a scarcity of the diabetes drug semaglutide (Ozempic) in an surroundings the place surging demand in some jurisdictions is creating shortages.”
The drug can value as much as $1,000 per 30 days within the U.S. In the meantime, in Canada, Ozempic can value round $300 a month.
The British Columbia Ministry of Well being launched a report that stated 1000’s of U.S. residents have been filling their Ozempic prescriptions in its area. Out of the Ozempic allotted in British Columbia, 15% (15,798 doses) had been offered to Individuals in January and February of this 12 months.
Don’t be shocked if different Canadian provinces observe swimsuit, stated Walter Oronsaye, PharmD, a Houston-based pharmacist who creates on-line content material with details about prescribed drugs, together with drug shortages
“If Ozempic isn’t used for diabetes functions, more often than not it’s not coated by insurance coverage,” he stated. “That $1,000 a month isn’t one thing that lots of people can afford. So, I feel it’s extremely possible for different elements of Canada to ban it as nicely.”
The truth is, Canada’s nationwide well being minister stated late final week he is working with different provinces to forestall mass export of the drug to U.S. sufferers, Canadian media reported.
Mark Decerbo, PharmD, a Las Vegas-based pharmacist, stated medical doctors incessantly prescribe “off-label medicines.” He additionally stated that British Columbia’s energy transfer could possibly be the very best transfer as nicely.
“Undoubtedly, the recognition of this drug, each due to its efficacy, in addition to its social media footprint, have contributed to shortages, as have the omni-present world provide chain disruptions of the uncooked supplies wanted to provide the drug,” he stated. “On the whole, I absolutely assist British Columbia’s ban on Ozempic purchases for Individuals, as any nation’s focus ought to at all times be on prioritizing the well being and well-being of its personal residents over others.”
Probably the most controversial points within the Ozempic dispute: Individuals who don’t have diabetes have been taking Ozempic solely for weight reduction, leaving some individuals with kind 2 diabetes with out very important medicine.
Social media platforms, together with celeb endorsements, have tremendously boosted the recognition, and gross sales, of Ozempic for weight reduction – which has added to the shortages.
“There are Fb teams providing methods for individuals to get Ozempic at cheaper costs,” Oronsaye stated. “I’m certain there’s a gaggle that found that individuals may purchase Ozempic in Canada.”
Folks with out diabetes who take Ozempic say the controversy has been overblown. Annie Brown, 33, would not have diabetes and takes the drug to shed kilos. After being chubby her complete life, she loves that Ozempic makes your abdomen “really feel full even if you happen to’re not.”
Brown known as Ozempic “a miracle drug”. She misplaced 14 kilos inside 6 weeks of taking the drug, which is made by Novo Nordisk. She has gotten some on-line pushback, with some saying that she is going to acquire weight if she stops taking it. “You are stealing from the diabetics“ and “You must really feel ashamed of your self” are different feedback she has obtained.
Carol Sortore, who’s pre-diabetic however doesn’t have kind 2 diabetes, takes Ozempic to drop extra pounds after her physician prescribed the medicine, which her insurance coverage additionally covers. She says she understands the frustration of people that have diabetes if they cannot get Ozempic on account of shortages, but additionally stated they’ve “a plethora of insulin choices obtainable to them,” which isn’t at all times the case for overweight individuals.
“If a person and their doctor have decided that this can be a plan of action for somebody with out diabetes to take, then I don’t assume they need to really feel responsible,” Sortore stated.