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Tags: ozempic | weight loss | tiktok | pharma | food

Eating Disorder Charity: Viral TikTok Weight Loss Drug a 'Loaded Gun'

ozempic injection pen

The diabetes drug Ozempic has seen supply chain issues due to off-label prescribing for weight loss. (Jason Bergman/Sipa via AP Images)

By    |   Sunday, 19 February 2023 10:09 PM EST

The use of Ozempic, an anti-diabetic injection, for weight loss without a prescription has sparked concern from eating disorder charities, who have labeled it as a "loaded gun."

The drug, which is self-injected, can be purchased online, at least in the United Kingdom, without seeing a doctor and has gained widespread popularity on social media platforms such as TikTok, with 430 million views of the associated hashtag, according to the Irish Mirror.

As the director of the British charity at the National Centre for Eating Disorders, Deanne Jade, put it, "It's like handing a loaded gun to people with eating disorders."

But in the United States, according to Calley Means, a whistleblower from the food and drug industry, the story behind Ozempic "is a scandal that I think is the biggest story in the country right now."

During an interview with Russell Brand, Means said that Ozempic "is projected to be the most expensive drug in American history.

"We're on track to spend trillions on this drug. It would be much cheaper to just have healthy food for kids."

Earlier in the interview, Means said, "And just last week, they recommended that every obese and overweight person in this country over 12 gets an obesity drug, and this is a lifetime injection; it says on the label for this drug that there are serious and unknown metabolic effects if you go off" it.

Means said he previously worked in the processed food industry, and told Brand, "Basically, processed food companies are funding research, and the direct strategy was to fund thousands and thousands of studies to complicate the issue."

"Still, to this day, elite research institutions are putting out studies questioning whether sugar causes obesity. Right? So it's mass confusion."

And "the medical system is totally silent on that, right? The medical system is not ringing an alarm bell about childhood diabetes: obesity." Instead, Means added, "they're profiting from it.

"And I think the key thing to understand is that we siloed health in every institution from pharma to med schools to your hospital. They make money on interventions of people that are sick."

In the U.K., the Mirror revealed that the drug easily could be purchased online and in beauty salons by people without diabetes, with no face-to-face checks, phone calls, or appointments required. Some non-diabetic users are even able to lie to obtain the medication. The drug is available in two doses, 0.5 mg and 1 mg pens.

One British reporter was even able to purchase both by completing a simple online health questionnaire and falsely claiming a body mass index above 30.

Similar concerns have been raised about another anti-diabetic medication, Wegovy, which is due to be sold for weight loss. The drug will be available via an "online prescription" that checks for BMI, but there are concerns that some non-diabetic users will still be able to obtain it by lying.

Means concluded in his interview with Brand that "people getting sicker and sicker" while grappling with information funded by members of the  food industry is helping "the medical industry profit."

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The use of Ozempic, an anti-diabetic injection, for weight loss without a prescription has sparked concern from eating disorder charities, who have labeled it as a "loaded gun."
ozempic, weight loss, tiktok, pharma, food
516
2023-09-19
Sunday, 19 February 2023 10:09 PM
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