They fight diabetes and also have a slimming effect. But these drugs are also a trend fueled by social media and famous people. Thus the demand has risen excessively and the shortage is destined to continue into 2024.
This is what emerges from the information note on the injectable medicines semaglutide (Ozempic*) and liraglutide (Victoza*), addressed to healthcare professionals by the Italian Medicines Agency Aifa, in agreement with the company Novo Nordisk and the European Medicines Agency Ema .
“The increase in overall demand for the injectable Glp-1 receptor agonist drugs Ozempic and Victoza, together with production capacity limitations at some of the manufacturing sites, has led to a shortage situation, with possible out-of-stock conditions,” the document reads.
by Valeria Pini
A shortage that is set to get worse
To facilitate the increased supply of Ozempic, Novo Nordisk has decided to temporarily reduce the supply of Victoza. “The shortage situation for Ozempic and Victoza will worsen in the fourth quarter of 2023. Intermittent shortages are expected for Ozempic throughout 2024. Shortages are expected for Victoza until at least the second quarter of 2024,” the note details, which states that “the shortage is not related to any quality defects in the medicines or safety issues.”
No new patients
“No new patients – is the indication to doctors – should start treatment with Victoza at least until the second quarter of 2024, when distribution is expected to normalize; the available product must only be used to continue the treatment of patients currently already in therapy.
Novo Nordisk will limit the supply of the initial dose of Ozempic (0.25 mg), with the aim of reducing the initiation of new patients, to mitigate the growing demand for the two maintenance doses (Ozempic 0.5 mg and 1 mg). . It is recommended to limit the initiation of new patients during the shortage period and until the supply situation improves, expected in the first quarter of 2024.
by Valentina Arcovio
In the event that Ozempic or Victoza are not available to patients currently treated with either of these two products, patients should be safely switched to another injectable Glp-1 Ra, or to another suitable alternative drug based on their clinical judgment”.
Semaglutide and liraglutide
Semaglutide and liraglutide, it is recalled in the information note to healthcare professionals, “are indicated for the treatment of adults with insufficiently controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus, in addition to diet and physical exercise, as monotherapy when the use of metformin is considered inappropriate due to intolerance or contraindications; in addition to other medicinal products for the treatment of diabetes”. Liraglutide “is also indicated for adolescents and children aged 10 years and older with insufficiently controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus, as an adjunct to diet and exercise.”
“Any other use, including the treatment of overweight/obesity, represents an off-label use – concludes AIFA – and currently places the availability of Ozempic and Victoza for the population at high risk”.