Ozempic: The Expensive Diabetes Drug That Is Becoming Popular For Weight Loss

Ozempic: The Expensive Diabetes Drug That Is Becoming Popular For Weight Loss


Photo by Andres Ayrton

Hollywood has found a weight-loss hack, and now it’s catching on in the rest of the country. Problem is it involved a drug meant to treat a serious medical condition, diabetes.

“A lot of celebrities are on it,” Dr. Daniel Ghiyam told The Guardian. “Everyone’s who’s not talking about it is on the stuff.”

His “medical spa” in Ventura county, California, offers skin tightening and body contouring as well as injections of Semaglutide, the active ingredient in a new drug called Ozempic.

“Everyone’s on it,” he says.

Ozempic (semaglutide) is a brand-name prescription drug that lowers blood sugar levels in people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. It is administered by injection. But it also has a side effect–Ozempic makes people find food revolting. It acts like an appetite suppressant.

Diabetes occurs when the body does not make enough insulin or cannot use it as well as it should. There are different types of diabetes. Type 2 is the most common; Type 2 means that the body produces insulin but doesn’t use insulin properly.

Ozempic’s weight loss properties are so controversial because it triggers a chemical repugnance to food itself. When a person using the drug tries to eat, it causes the person to become nauseous, The Guardian reported.

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Currently, there is no generic version of Ozempic, so uninsured patients may need to pay the full retail price for the drug. And it is expensive–$1,368 for a single 2 mg/1.5 mL pen injector (eight 0.25 mg doses or four 0.5 mg doses) or $1,205 for a single 4 mg/3 mL pen injector (four 1 mg doses), according to Single Care. That comes to about $170 to $342 per weekly dose.

In the U.S., 34.2 million adults have diabetes, and one in five of them do not know they have it. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the prevalence of diabetes in non-Hispanic Blacks is 11.7 percent, versus only 7.5 percent in non-Hispanic whites.

Obesity is associated with many other conditions such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, lipid disorders, certain cancers, sleep apnea, arthritis, and mental illness. Obesity disproportionately impacts communities of color. Non-Hispanic Blacks had the highest prevalence of obesity at 49.6 percent. African-American women have the highest rates of obesity among any demographic group. Approximately 4 out of 5 African-American women have overweight or obesity, according to the nonprofit community health organization the National Black Leadership Commission on Health.

Photo by Andres Ayrton: https://www.pexels.com/photo/plus-size-woman-measuring-hips-in-gym-6551070/