Ozempic shortage here to stay

11 October 2023

The manufacturer of Ozempic has advised the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) that the ongoing shortage of the Type 2 Diabetes medication will last for the rest of the year and well into next year.

According to the TGA, Novo Nordisk says supply will be sporadic and limited with new supplies of Ozempic 0.25/0.5mg being made available before the end of 2023, but there would be “intermittent supply of all strengths of Ozempic for the rest of 2023 and throughout 2024”.

The TGA says this is because of a spike in demand due to “rapid rise in prescribing for off-label use”.

The advice from the TGA is for doctors not to prescribe new patients Ozempic unless there are no suitable alternatives or there is a “compelling clinical reason to do so”.

For patients who are already using Ozempic, health professionals are being asked to consider alternative medicines and for them to consult the appropriate prescribing guidelines.

The TGA says Ozempic must be prioritised for patients who are stabilised under Ozempic and have no alternative treatments.

Pharmacists have been advised by the TGA that availability of Ozempic can change suddenly due to stockpiling and off-label usage.

Diabetes patients using Ozempic, who are affected by the shortage, should talk to their pharmacist or doctor about any suitable alternatives.

Ozempic is a drug which is meant to treat adults with Type 2 Diabetes, but because it’s known to help patients lose weight its popularity has been promoted by social media influencers.

It’s a Semaglutide injection and it works by helping the pancreas to produce more insulin.  But it also tricks the body into thinking you’re fuller earlier my mimicking a naturally occurring hormone.

Considered more convenient than other insulin medication, you only need to inject your dosage once a week.

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Page last updated on: 11 October 2023