They take counterfeit weight loss drugs and end up in the hospital

They take counterfeit weight loss drugs and end up in the hospital

A drug that was believed to be slimming, in reality has proven to be more than harmful. In Austria, several people were treated in hospital after using the drug Ozempic. The Austrian Federal Office for Health Safety, the BASG, said it had reported “serious side effects” among which low blood sugar levels and seizures. That’s because, the federal office said, the drugs “contained insulin” instead of Ozempic’s active ingredient, semaglutide. An investigation has been opened into the case.

Drug indicated for losing weight

Ozempic became popular as weight loss treatment. The Austrian criminal intelligence service, the BK, carried out investigations into the facts that preceded the hospitalization of those who had taken the drug in question. And it turned out that the people who ended up in hospital had received the syringes from a doctor based in Austria. Furthermore, investigators found that “the counterfeit injection pens were colored a darker blue than the original articles”, warning that “stocks of the fake drug may still be in circulation” and inviting “doctors and patients to check theirs” .

“Ozempic is increasingly used as a slimming drug, a use for which the medicine is not approved”, reads a note issued by Bk. And both the Austrian police and the Ministry of Health have warned the public against the use of so-called slimming injections from “dubious sources”.

Deficiency for diabetic patients

The European Medicines Agency, EMA, recently warned that increased demand for Ozempic has led to “a shortage situation” for diabetic patients. Last week, the EMA and the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) warned that counterfeit Ozempic injection pens, sourced from suppliers in Austria and Germany, had been identified at wholesalers in the UK United Kingdom and in the EU. In this regard, the MHRA explained that “all affected pens have been recalled and accounted for, and none have been supplied to UK patients”. Finally, it assured that it is working closely with partners internationally “to continue to maintain the security of the broader supply chain, both at home and abroad”.

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