Is the FDA failing patients again?

Wegovy is being promoted as a weight loss drug but how many potential patients understand the risks or that the vast majority experienced side effects from the maximum dosage which is needed for shedding weight? Do they also understand they need to be on the drug for life and that their aren’t any studies on long term use?

Ozempic, the Type 2 diabetes treatment, has been in short supply for months as people who don’t have diabetes seek the drug for its most famous side effect: weight loss. The prescription medication, which patients self-inject once a week, is trending on social media. Some users call it “the skinny pen” and swap stories about shedding pounds with Ozempic.

More than a dozen telehealth websites advertising Ozempic for weight loss, including one that announced people could request an Ozempic online prescription, with same-day prescriptions available.

Most patients don’t understand that weight loss is only substantial with higher doses, and 73% of people who use the higher dose have significant side effects.

Dr. Priya Jaisinghani, an endocrinologist at NYU Langone, clinical assistant professor at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, and a physician certified with the American Board of Obesity Medicine was alarmed by how easily the Ozempic prescriptions could be obtained.

It’s not appropriate for people without Type 2 diabetes to receive a prescription for the drug, Jaisinghani notes. But she says she regularly treats patients who suffered complications after being prescribed Ozempic from telehealth providers without guidance.

Wegovy’s website is actively promoting weight loss and even though fair balance pops up on the bottom my experience is that most won’t read it. Should the FDA survey patients and ask if they’re aware that 73% of people on higher doses experienced side effects? Should they also ask if patients are aware this drug needs to be combined with diet and exercise or that you need to be on the drug for life to maintain weight loss?

Right now irresponsible media writers are saying these drugs are “the end of obesity”. The FDA has a duty to communicate risks to patients when the hype sells the sizzle. In my opinion, and talking to a handful of doctors, they’re not doing that. A friend who I served with tried Wegovy for weight loss. He said, that as he increased the dosage, he couldn’t leave the house because of GI side effects. How many are learning this the hard way?