Buyer Beware of Counterfeit Weight Loss Injections in 2024

As the demand for weight loss injections continues to rise, pharmaceutical companies are facing significant challenges in meeting the supply needs of these treatments. The production of weight loss injections poses various manufacturing challenges that must be addressed to ensure a steady supply for individuals seeking obesity treatments.

With the high cost and rising popularity of drugs used for weight loss like Ozempic, Mounjaro, and Wegovy, pharmacists, and medical doctors are warning consumers about some websites that sell discounted versions of the drugs.

“Even if you assume that the medication is the correct substance, if this is not processed correctly and it’s not sterile, there are infectious concerns,” Spaniolas told ABC News Becky Worley. “People have to be careful because this leap of faith of ordering something that you are self-injecting at home is a big problem.”

Patients are trying to order the medications online, but people must be very careful.” Monitoring and addressing the misuse of both NPS and pharmaceuticals are crucial for public health and safety.

Tackling Manufacturing Challenges for Weight Loss Injections

Manufacturing weight loss injections involves complex processes requiring strict quality control measures to ensure efficacy and safety. These challenges include

● Ensuring consistent and accurate dosing of the active ingredients

● Maintaining sterile environments to prevent contamination,

● Stabilizing the formulation to ensure product integrity

● Meeting regulatory requirements for production and packaging

Pharmaceutical companies have invested significant resources into research and development to overcome these manufacturing challenges and streamline the production process. Advanced technologies and innovative techniques are being employed to enhance the efficiency and scalability of weight-loss injection manufacturing.

Justin Macy, who leads the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s Digital Health team, said one red flag for consumers to look for is websites that show photos of the drugs with unique United States drug identification numbers but then claim to ship out of Canada which is illegal.

In other instances, websites posing as pharmacies may promote brand-name versions of the drugs. Other red flags are websites that do not require a prescription to obtain the drugs, and websites that offer the drugs for well below the market price. Ozempic, Mounjaro, and Wegovy each require a prescription and are not sold over the counter.

What is Ozempic?

Ozempic is the brand name of semaglutide, a drug that lowers blood sugar and was initially approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat type 2 diabetes. But it also tends to help people lose weight because it slows the emptying of the stomach and increases feelings of fullness. It also works on the appetite center in the brain to reduce appetite. In 2021, semaglutide was approved by the FDA as a weight loss medication under the brand name Wegovy.

Wegovy is given as a weekly home injection. When FDA-approved weight-loss drugs are used in tandem with lifestyle changes, it’s possible to see a weight loss of about 5% to 15% of body weight. That can make a big difference, with potential benefits like lowering blood pressure and blood sugar and improving joint discomfort.

While GLP-1 receptor agonists, GIP, and dual agonists were initially developed for the treatment of diabetes, their efficacy in weight loss management has gained considerable attention. These injections have been found to improve glycemic control and induce significant weight loss in individuals without diabetes. This expanded application highlights the potential of these treatments in addressing the growing concern of obesity and offers additional options for individuals seeking effective weight loss solutions.

Brown, C. (2023). High price and demand for semaglutide means a lack of access for US patients. bmj, 382.

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