Worldwide Ozempic shortage reaches Local 6 region following surge in new users seeking weight loss | News

PADUCAH — Local doctors and pharmacists report shortages of Ozempic , a prescription drug for type 2 diabetes. That's because people without diabetes are using it to lose weight, increasing the need.

Ozempic's intended use is to regulate blood sugar. Still, some doctors prescribe the drug because of a known side effect of weight loss, which has created a worldwide shortage.


Baptist Health Paducah said there had been shortages for months.

This is a big problem because, for people with type 2 diabetes, adherence to treatment regimens is key. It can be dangerous to break it.

You're probably familiar with Ozempic's catchy jingle, to the tune of Scottish band Pilot's 1974 hit “Magic.” This is for the attention of people with type 2 diabetes.

Instead, people looking for quick weight loss solutions are taking notice, and it's taking TikTok by storm.


However, weight loss is not the intended use. Ozempic is not FDA-approved for weight loss. It is approved for blood sugar control.

Kathy West, a certified diabetes educator with Baptist Health Paducah, said people with type 2 diabetes are suffering the most from the shortage.

“People with diabetes lose out on at least two fronts: weight control and cardiovascular protection,” West said.

Davis Drugs, a pharmacy in Paducah, is struggling to keep stocks in stock.

Pharmacist Mallory McEwan said it was a guessing game.


“We get some occasionally, but not often, so we can't verify or guarantee delivery on any given day,” McEwan said.

This has left many diabetics looking for alternatives.

“They call. I have two or three a week.” “Where do I get the medicine?” “Well, I don't have drugs. I don't have samples in my office,” West said.

Manufacturers expect the shortage to be resolved by the end of March.

Davis Drugs has been told the shortage should end by the end of 2022, so pharmacies are hopeful but not sure.


“We've been told before that it might come back into stock, but that's not the case, so at the moment it's just a day-to-day situation,” McEwan said.

In other countries such as New Zealand and Australia, the wait time may be longer.

Manufacturer Novo Nordisk said shortages could last until July.

If you are taking Ozempic strictly for weight loss, be aware of side effects.

Rebound weight gain is common, and if you stop taking it, you may regain weight.

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