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Global alert issued over fake Ozempic drugs

A global alert about fake versions of Ozempic - which has become popular as a way of losing weight - has been issued by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The drug is sometimes known as a "skinny jab" despite its main purpose being a treatment for type 2 diabetes.

The WHO said the fake medicines could pose a danger to health.

The organisation advised people to source the drug only through reputable sources, such as a doctor, rather than obscure sites online or through social media.

The active ingredient in Ozempic - semaglutide - helps people with type 2 diabetes control the amount of sugar in their blood.

However, the weekly injection also signals to the brain that we're full. So the drug helps people lose weight by reducing the urge to eat.

People without diabetes have been getting hold of the drug as a weight-loss medication, which has led to shortages for people with type 2 diabetes and created a market for counterfeit drugs.

“[We advise] healthcare professionals, regulatory authorities and the public be aware of these falsified batches of medicines,” said Dr Yukiko Nakatani, WHO assistant director general for essential medicines and health products.

"These falsified products could have harmful effects to people’s health," WHO said.

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Source: BBC News, 20 June 2024


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