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Ozempic costs about 130 euros per month and must be prescribed by a doctor. SUR
Popular new weight loss drug in short supply on the Costa del Sol and across Malaga province
Health

Popular new weight loss drug in short supply on the Costa del Sol and across Malaga province

From January to September, more than 30,000 units were sold in the province, although distributors believe they could have sold at least 40 per cent more if they had stock

Iván Gelibter

Malaga

Sunday, 10 December 2023, 20:59

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'Miracle diets' have trended over the decades, the one with pineapple, the one with artichoke ... but in the end there is no magic wand for losing weight. And although the drug Ozempic is not a magic cure, it has proved that it can help with weight loss for thousands of people across Malaga province who have been prescribed it. However, finding it in a local pharmacy is almost a mission impossible at the moment.

According to data from the Junta de Andalucía regional government, a total of 31,291 packages had been issued from January to September. However, distributor sources and the pharmacies themselves believe that they could have sold 40 per cent more units if they had been available. This is despite the fact that it is a prescription drug that has a retail price of about 128 euros a month.

Asked about this shortage, official sources from Bidafarma (the main distributor of medicines, with 70 per cent of the market in Malaga province) explained that “there is no specific problem here, it is a matter of production at source, which cannot meet demand”.

Several expert sources consulted said that the manufacturers of Ozempic have seen a demand for their product that they did not expect. “And the problem with it in Spain is that due to the average income, the authorities establish lower prices and they are less interested in selling here,” sources said.

How does it work?

Ozempic contains the active substance semaglutide and, as indicated by the Spanish Medicines Agency, this helps the body lower blood sugar and can help prevent heart disease. It is often used to treat adults with type 2 diabetes when diet and exercise are not enough.

It works by imitating a hormone that regulates appetite and creates the feeling of satiety. It has been shown that it can produce an average reduction of six to 15 percent of body weight in one year. The drug is given as a weekly subcutaneous injection.

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