A shortage of the off-label diabetes drug Ozempic for weight loss is expected in Canada, manufacturer Novo Nordisk and Health Canada said Friday.
“We are experiencing a temporary supply disruption with the Ozempic 1mg (injectable) pen due to the combination of general global supply restrictions coupled with increased demand,” Kate Hanna, a spokeswoman for Novo Nordisk, said in an emailed statement. electronic.
On its website, Health Canada said an “intermittent shortage” is expected from late August to early October.
The 0.25-milligram and 0.5-milligram doses of the Ozempic injection pens continue to be available “for patients with type 2 diabetes across Canada,” Hanna said.
“Canada is one of many countries experiencing supply challenges. We have been working proactively with our global colleagues, Health Canada and drug shipping partners to address this issue and mitigate the impact across Canada,” he said.
Lower-dose pens “may be an option for some patients to mitigate the impacts” of the supply disruption, the Health Canada website said.
But “it will be important to avoid further shortages,” he said.
Health Canada and Novo Nordisk are “closely monitoring” the supply of Rybelsus, which is the pill form of semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic, the website said.
“Patients are encouraged to consult with a healthcare professional about available options,” Health Canada said.
Company criticized for aggressive marketing
Ozempic and Rybelsus are currently approved by Health Canada for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Endocrinologists previously told The Canadian Press that semaglutide, prescribed in higher doses, is also an effective treatment for obesity and that it was prescribed for that purpose.
But some doctors and ethicists have criticized Novo Nordisk for aggressively marketing Ozempic and Rybelsus in Canada in recent months, citing concerns that people will seek prescriptions for cosmetic weight loss.
Another semaglutide drug made by Novo Nordisk, Wegovy, has been approved by Health Canada for the treatment of obesity, but is not yet available in Canada.
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