Diabetes drugs are being marketed online as weight-loss miracles
Pharmaceutical companies have long sought new uses for prescription drugs. For example, Viagra.
The drug was originally developed as a treatment for high blood pressure. Then researchers noticed that it had certain side effects that might appeal to some men. The rest is history.
Now, we're seeing drugs developed to help diabetics being touted by tech startups as a way to lose weight.
The Wall Street Journal reports that drugs such as Wegovy, Ozempic and Moujaro, designed to help people with type 2 diabetes manage their weight, are now being marketed to non-diabetics as an alternative to diet and exercise.
That is, they are being marketed out of vanity rather than medical necessity.
This is troubling on many levels, not least the lack of regulatory oversight of such practices.
“Health professionals say marketing such drugs to healthy people is inappropriate and could cause problems such as physical deformities or eating disorders,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
“It could also lead to shortages of the drugs, which are in high demand as celebrities, tech moguls and others tout them as a quick weight-loss solution.”
These are powerful drugs. If misused or abused, they can cause significant harm.
But for decades, diet pills have been the holy grail of the pharmaceutical industry (along with treatments for hair loss and the situation Viagra tackles).
This trend requires an immediate response from federal authorities and regulations for the use of such drugs.
In the case of these diabetes drugs, some startups marketing the drugs failed to inform buyers about the nature of the drugs and what they were used for, the Journal found.
“It's as simple as taking your pills and losing weight,” says one ad campaign. “It doesn't require diet or exercise to work.”
To say it was reckless would seem an understatement.
This is deeply irresponsible – and very dangerous.