Swedish regulator asks doctors not to prescribe diabetes drugs for weight loss

Swedish regulator asks doctors not to prescribe diabetes drugs for weight loss
Swedish regulator asks doctors not to prescribe diabetes drugs for weight loss

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - World number one diabetes drug maker Novo Nordisk , and more recently also Eli Lily, are seeing demand soar for weight-loss drugs that are of a class originally designed to treat type 2 diabetes. — AFP pic

COPENHAGEN, Dec 11 — Sweden’s drugs agency today asked doctors to hold off on prescribing diabetes drugs for the treatment of obesity, pointing to signs that a spike in such usage has left diabetics short of medication.

World number one diabetes drug maker Novo Nordisk , and more recently also Eli Lily, are seeing demand soar for weight-loss drugs that are of a class originally designed to treat type 2 diabetes.

The so-called GLP-1 receptor agonists have also been shown to trigger a feeling of fullness after eating and slower gastric emptying.

The Swedish Medicines Agency said in a statement it urged doctors to prescribe specifically intended diabetes medicines only to patients diagnosed with the illness until further notice.

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“The Swedish Medical Products Agency takes very seriously the fact that chronically ill patients are left without their medication due to an extensive prescription outside the approved indication,” it said.

There is a growing crisis in Europe over the supply of Novo Nordisk’s diabetes therapy Ozempic, which uses semaglutide, the same active ingredient as the drugmaker’s weight-loss drug Wegovy.

Physicians have the legal right to prescribe medicine for a purpose other than what the medicine is primarily intended for. — Reuters

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