WHO warns about fake Ozempic injections in the US, UK and Brazil

Health authorities have issued a global warning about the illegal sale of counterfeit injections of weight loss drugs and diabetes control, including the well-known Ozempic. This practice, which is gaining traction primarily through online sellers, poses a significant risk to public health.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed the presence of fake batches of Ozempic in markets in the United States, United Kingdom and Brazilwhich has sparked widespread concern among consumers and medical professionals alike.

These counterfeits not only lack the expected therapeutic effectiveness, but may also contain dangerous contaminants that seriously endanger the health of those who use them.

The main attraction of these fake injections lies in their significantly lower cost compared to authentic products, which acts as a bait for consumers looking for cheaper options. However, This low price should be seen as a red flag to potential buyers.

The World Health Organization (WHO) issued an alert due to the proliferation of counterfeit medicines in several countries Ozempicinitially used against diabetes but increasingly popular to promote weightlosswhich has increased its global demand.

According to the alert, the second issued by the WHO for counterfeit medicines In 2024, three false shipments of this medicine from the semaglutide family have been identified: one in Brazil, another in the United Kingdom (both detected in October 2023) and a third in the United States, two months later.

“These counterfeit products can cause harmful effects on healthif they do not have the appropriate ingredients, which can lead to complications due to the lack of control of the glucose levels in blood related to weight,” highlights the alert from the health agency.

WHO asks to purchase this medicine with a medical prescription

The note recommends health professionals and state regulators that increase surveillance against these possible counterfeits, stopping the use of any suspicious product and reporting it to the authorities.

It also asks consumers to acquire this type of medication with a prescription from qualified doctors“avoiding buying them from unfamiliar or unverified sources, such as those that can be found on the Internet.”

They also recommend review the information on the packaging, including the expiration datethe use of these medications with a medical prescription, and in the case of injectable forms, their correct storage in the refrigerator.

Semaglutides are usually prescribed to people with type 2 diabetesto help them reduce their blood sugar levels, but their appetite-reducing side effect has also made them popular as drug to promote weight loss In many countries, this segment of the pharmaceutical market has become one of the most profitable on a global level.

The WHO stressed, however, that For now, this type of treatment is not recommended at a general level.due to its high cost, there are other more affordable alternatives.

On the other hand, he stressed, the preparation of a guide for the use of these semaglutides and other similar products for the treatment of obesity problems in adults is being studied.

(With information from EFE)