Semaglutide for weight loss

The Shortage of Semaglutide and GLP-1 Medications

December 27, 2023 By , , , , , , , ,

Semaglutide for weight lossSemaglutide is a very effective weight loss medication that, when used safely, can be very helpful.  It is also known as a glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, Semaglutide mimics a hormone produced in the gut that helps regulate blood sugar and appetite. Semaglutide in injected form was first approved for use in the U.S. as a treatment for type 2 diabetes in 2017. It was approved there for weight control in 2021.  At The Natural Path. we have been using a compounded form of Semaglutide salt that has been exceptionally effective for my patient population.

Why is Semaglutide in Shortage?

It is estimated that in 2023, more than 3.12 billion people (39% of the global population) are obese. But 15 years ago, in 2008, the global obesity rate was 23.9%, affecting 1.63 billion people. By 2035, it is predicted that half of the world’s population will be obese.   Semaglutide can be a big player to help with the obesity endemic.  Currently, the supply of semaglutide is not keeping pace with demand.

Novo, which produces the key ingredients for its treatments at its factories in Denmark and the United States, said on November 2, 2023, that it expects “continued periodic supply constraints and related drug shortage notifications across several products and geographies.”On Nov. 10, the company announced it would spend $6 billion by end-2029 to expand its Kalundborg site in Denmark, mainly to boost the output of active pharmaceutical ingredients, including semaglutide. This year, it is spending just over $2 billion.  The curbs will be in force until August 2024, but may end sooner if supplies improve, a spokesperson for the health ministry said.

Is it Legal for Compounding Pharmacies to make Semaglutide?

Federal regulations allow 503A compounding facilities to use active pharmaceutical ingredients to make compounded versions of drugs in FDA-recognized shortage for patient-specific prescriptions.  Many use the salt forms of semaglutide sodium or semaglutide acetate and these are not FDA approved forms of Semaglutide.


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