Social media stories contributing to Ozempic shortage nationally, locally

TikTok influencers are sharing their weight loss journeys and attributing it to Diabetes drug Ozempic
Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 6:50 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -“Oh-Oh-Oh-Ozempic!”

It’s one of those jingles you can’t get out of your head: the advertisement for Ozempic.

The Diabetes drug is in short supply, thanks in part to social media. Some TikTok influencers are sharing their weight loss journeys and attributing it to Ozempic.

This is creating a demand, not only for diabetics who need it to take care of their condition but people who want to lose weight.

Pharmacist Amer Najjar has noticed a trend: patients from all over Northeast Ohio driving to Broadway Pharmacy in Slavic Village to fill their prescriptions.

“Have you ever had an instance where a customer needed this prescription, and you didn’t have it?” asked 19 News Reporter, Sia Nyorkor.

“Yes, yes, it actually happens very often and a lot of times they would go without the medication 2-3 weeks without getting it,” said Najjar. “It is a problem we’re seeing. But we try, sometimes we’ll call around other pharmacies to see if they have it in stock. and most the times they’re having the exact same issue,” he said.

Studies show almost 74% of adults in the U.S. over the age of 20 are considered overweight or obese. Medical professionals caution those looking for a “quick fix” online to lose weigh the healthy way, eating better and exercise.

“I understand TikTok and social media being a big influence but, in the end, the patient has to have the conversation with the doctor,” said Najjar.

Medical professionals say social media is a useful tool in raising awareness about different illnesses, but it can also be dangerous if you don’t consult with your doctors before trying new medications.