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Young women buying Ozempic to get ‘beach body ready’ end up in A&E

Young women are ending up in A&E after buying Ozempic online, with the NHS’s top doctor warning that weight-loss injections should not be abused in an attempt to get “beach body ready”.

Doctors in emergency care report that “almost every shift” they see “young, beautiful girls” with potentially deadly complications who took the drug despite being a healthy weight.

New weight-loss injections including semaglutide, better known by the brand names Ozempic and Wegovy, are being used on the NHS for people with obesity and type 2 diabetes. Some patients, however, including those with eating disorders, have lied about their weight to get them privately from online pharmacies or beauty clinics — leading to complications including inflammation of the pancreas.

The drugs are sold by companies including Boots, Superdrug and Lloyds at between £150 and £200 a month. Doctors are calling for “urgent regulation and control” of their sale to ensure they are prescribed only to obese patients.

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS England’s medical director, said the drugs should not be seen as a “quick fix for people trying to get ‘beach body ready’ ”.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: The Times, 13 June 2024


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