Published on November 7, 2023, 1:07 am

Weight loss drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy are gaining popularity, but with that comes concerns about counterfeit versions of these drugs entering the market. Health officials are warning consumers to be extra cautious when filling their prescriptions. Ozempic and Wegovy were originally prescribed for type 2 diabetes but have become popular as weight loss drugs due to the main ingredient, semaglutide, which helps suppress appetite.

35-year-old Nicole Morse from Nashville shares her successful weight loss journey with Wegovy. She had tried various methods to lose weight over the years without much success until her doctor prescribed Wegovy. Since starting the drug in July, Morse has lost 18 pounds. She explains that one of the biggest benefits of taking the drug is a reduced feeling of hunger.

It is projected that over the next decade, around 7% of the US population (or 24 million people) could be using these weight loss drugs. However, there are growing concerns about counterfeit versions of these medications circulating in the United States.

Part of the problem lies in the popularity of Ozempic and other similar drugs, which have made it onto the FDA’s drug shortage list due to high demand and low supply. This scarcity creates an opportunity for fake drugs to flood the market. Dr. Susan Spratt, an endocrinologist at Duke University, explains that whenever a medication gains traction for weight loss and diabetes treatment, there will be intense interest and a potential for counterfeit products.

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy has encountered this issue before with medications like Viagra and ADHD drugs. Counterfeit versions may contain unknown substances or even deadly additives such as fentanyl. Al Carter, executive director for the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, warns that these counterfeit medications can include dangerous poisons like drywall or antifreeze.

To stay safe, Carter advises consumers to avoid purchasing Ozempic online and recommends using trusted sources like if ordering online. This website helps verify the legitimacy of online pharmacies. It’s also important to obtain a proper prescription from a healthcare provider and use reputable pharmacies when purchasing Ozempic or similar drugs.

Doctors suggest looking for red flags such as foreign writing, different color, or shape when inspecting the medication. Additionally, manufacturers’ websites often provide images of what the authentic drug should look like, serving as a reference point for patients.

In conclusion, while weight loss drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy offer potential benefits, consumers must exercise caution due to the rise in counterfeit versions of these medications. Following the advice of healthcare professionals, using legitimate sources, and staying vigilant during the purchasing process can help ensure safety and efficacy in weight loss treatment.