Close this search box.
Close this search box.

‘This is not for weight loss’: Doctors Raise Concerns Over Ozempic Hoarding.

Ozempic, a non-insulin diabetes medication, has become popular on social media as a quick weight loss solution. However, the Philippine Society of Nephrology (PSN) is warning against this trend, noting that many are hoarding the drug.

During the Agham Kapihan event on Thursday, Dr. Agnes Cruz, head of external affairs at PSN, stressed that Ozempic, also known as Semaglutide, is meant for lowering blood sugar in type 2 diabetes patients.

“The problem with [Ozempic] in the Philippines is that wealthy individuals can hoard the medicines,” Dr. Cruz explained.

Ozempic has gained attention for its potential to aid in weight loss by causing gastric emptying. This means that food moves into the small intestine more quickly, making people feel full sooner and reducing food intake. However, Dr. Cruz emphasized, “This is not for obesity, [and] not for weight loss… Saxenda is permissible even if you do not have diabetes.” Saxenda is another injectable drug that helps reduce body mass and is usually prescribed for obesity.

The rising demand for Ozempic and Trulicity, another Semaglutide medication, has led to supply shortages. Aly, a Filipino content creator known as The Blessed Bhie, pointed out on social media how hoarding has made it hard for her family members to access the medication. “It’s been almost one month, and my father still can’t find [the medication] in the pharmacies, and it’s freaking me out. Thank you, please stop being selfish.”” she posted on X (formerly Twitter).

Another user added, “There’s rampant black market and off-label use of Ozempic, driven by people throwing money at this fad. FDA Philippines, let’s step up our game.”

Dr. Vimar Luz, PSN secretary and head of the STOP Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) advocacy, warned that excessive use of over-the-counter drugs like Ozempic, along with painkillers, can lead to CKD.

“Majority of our healthcare is focused on dialysis, which is supposed to be the ‘endpoint’,” he said. To reduce CKD risks, PSN promotes early screenings and educates the public on delaying the disease’s progression.

In collaboration with AstraZeneca Philippines, PSN launched “Kidney Patrol,” a Facebook page offering infographics and online assessments to help identify and address kidney health concerns early.


More Posts

Send Us A Message