ROCHESTER, NY – More than 35 million Americans live with type 2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. diabetes.
Ozempic, a diabetes drug that can help people lose weight, is facing shortages.
“It’s designed for people with diabetes to help lower their blood sugar levels, helps prevent complications that can involve your eyes, kidneys, circulation, and again, your risk of heart attack and stroke. cerebral,” said Sally Nordquist, Certified Diabetes Nurse Educator.
He is becoming increasingly hard to find due to his fame and social media hype, being featured in videos with over 313 million views on platforms such as TikTok.
“It’s used by people who don’t have that diagnosis, you’re just taking the supply away from people who need it for their own health,” Nordquist said. “And I’m not minimizing weight loss, but when you have diabetes, you have other conditions that go with it. So you take away from them what works for them.
That leaves a lot to other alternatives not covered by their insurance or also out of stock.
“If you don’t have the drug available, you need to figure out which one is available,” said endocrinologist Dr. Susanne Miedlich. “Then you have to order that if you have highly motivated patients, they actually go to different pharmacies and sometimes you can get lucky that way, but you add a lot to a patient’s table. And if they’re diabetic, if they don’t get the meds, of course they’ll have high sugar limits, to say the least.
Although the drug itself is not harmful, its supply is.
“I don’t see that it was necessarily harmful to the patients taking it,” Dr. Miedlich said. “But I think it’s business as usual, it hits the wrong people if there’s a shortage because they can’t defend themselves. It becomes this kind of designer drug or feel-good drug .
This leaves medical professionals stressing the importance of educating others about getting a proper diagnosis before taking prescribed medications.
“I think the biggest part is awareness of your own health or what your risk factors are,” Nordquist said. “Talk to your family, find out who has what, and communicate with your GP. And if you are diagnosed with a chronic illness, take advantage of the education available in the community.
Diabetes monitoring and management can be a daily task and, when done correctly, can save lives.
“I’m at risk, and my kids are at risk because their dad has diabetes,” Nordquist said. “But it just helps because with my dad, we were able to delay the progression of his kidney disease for eight years, which is huge. And that was only because he had changed, he was more aware and that I was helping him, so you can’t do it without support.