Fake Ozempic Warning ‘Thousands of Units’ Already Seized by FDA

The US Food and Drug Administration has said that counterfeits of the popular drug Ozempic may still be in the drug supply chain and warned wholesalers, retail pharmacies, healthcare workers and patients to be wary of the products.

The FDA said Americans should check the products and stop distributing or using them if they find them labeled with lot number NAR0074 and serial number 430834149057. The agency said it is continuing to investigate the issue and has managed to seize thousands of counterfeit units, but there may still be more counterfeit units in the drug supply chain.

“Some counterfeit products may still be available for purchase,” the FDA said in a statement last week.

newsweek The FDA was contacted via email for comment on Monday.

This photo taken in Paris on February 23, 2023 shows the anti-diabetes drug “Ozempic” (semaglutide) made by Danish pharmaceutical company “Novo Nordisk”. The US Food and Drug Administration has warned consumers that counterfeit drugs are present in the US pharmaceutical supply chain. (Photo by Joel Saget/AFP via Getty Images)

Ozempic and other similar drugs have gained significant popularity among people who use it for weight loss. The FDA has not yet approved the use of the drug for anti-obesity treatment and it only received approval to treat diabetes in 2017. But another drug containing semaglutide, like Ozempic, Vegovy, has been approved for the treatment of obesity. Both products are manufactured by Danish company Novo Nordisk.

The FDA said it is working with Novo Nordisk to test the seized counterfeit drugs, but has not yet made any conclusions about the nature of the drugs and their safety.

However, the agency said it was aware of five adverse effects of the drugs.

“None of these were serious and are consistent with the known common adverse reactions of authentic Ozempic, which are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and constipation,” the FDA said in its statement.

The agency warned that the counterfeit products contained needles that were not authentic and could pose a risk of infection.

“Based on the analyzes conducted to date, other confirmed counterfeit components within the seized products are pen labels, health care professional and patient information, and cartons,” the FDA said.

The drug regulator urged pharmacies to purchase Ozempic directly from approved Novo Nordisk distributors and to take all precautions to ensure that the products they receive are authentic.

“Patients should obtain Ozempic with a valid prescription only through state-licensed pharmacies and should check the product before use for any signs of counterfeiting,” the FDA said.

The agency also encouraged Americans to report any negative effects from the drugs to the regulator.

“Entities selling counterfeit and/or tampered drugs, including online sellers, should be reported to the FDA,” he said.

Ozempic and Wegovi have become quite popular among celebrities and ordinary consumers, providing a significant boost to Novo Nordisk’s business. In November, the company reported that its operating profit improved by nearly a third and sales at its North America operations increased by nearly 50 percent through September 2023.

Company President and CEO Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen then said, “We are very satisfied with the sales growth in the first nine months of 2023, which shows that more people than ever are benefiting from our innovative diabetes and obesity treatments.” a statement.