BATHURST residents living with diabetes may have to look for an alternate medication, after supply of a drug used to treat the disease has run out due to a TikTok going viral.
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Ozempic is a weekly injection that is prescribed to patients living with type two diabetes, however the drug is also being used off-label as a means to lose weight.
After TikToks went viral spruiking the drug as a means to achieve rapid weight loss, demand went through the roof and the manufacturing company Novo Nordisk hasn't been able to keep up.
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"There was a TikTok video about someone losing weight on it, so that has apparently spurred a lot of the younger generation to ask their doctor for it and that's actually caused the shortage in the first place," Blooms The Chemist pharmacist Nathan Wood said.
Novo Nordisk released a statement about the shortage, recommending that patients speak to their doctors immediately about other options.
The manufacturing company expects Ozempic not to be available in Australia until the end of March 2023.
Mr Wood said they're hoping the supply returns earlier, but patients should organise another medication before their current supply of Ozempic runs out.
"The company has said it hopefully won't be as bad as we're thinking," he said.
"But in order to alleviate any problems they're saying straight out that it's not going to be available so don't rely on it as a consistent diabetes medication until the end of March.
"There's a couple of other injections that they can use and we can help them with what's available, but they really need to talk to their doctor so they can get it sorted."
Mr Wood said while Ozempic is a relatively new medication, it's become quite popular as patients have found it has less side effects and better outcomes for diabetes than the tablet forms.
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The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) regulates advertising of therapeutic goods in Australia, and states that, 'Prescription-only medicines such as Ozempic can't be advertised to the public in Australia'.
These laws are in place so consumers make informed decisions about medications after consultation with medical professionals, not based on social media advertising.
TGA is investigating the alleged unlawful advertising of Ozempic and will meet with representatives from TikTok to reinforce Australian therapeutic goods advertising laws.
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