SAHPRA warns of using Type 2 diabetes drug as substitute for weight-loss

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) has warned against those using a Type 2 diabetes drug as method for weight-loss.

Ozempic is a Schedule 4, prescription-only medicine, authorised by SAHPRA only for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus in adults. In a statement, SAHPRA said that only a healthcare practitioner can make a Schedule 4 product available off-label as they would provide the requisite guidance and support to the patient/individual.


Novo Nordisk South Africa, who is the Holder of Certificate of Registration (HCR) has confirmed a national shortage of Ozempic stock, which resulted in limited access to treatment for diabetic patients.

‘’This may have created an opportunity for falsified/counterfeit products flooding the market claiming to be Ozempic and being used off-label for weight loss. Consumers should be wary of online offers for products claiming to be Ozempic or semaglutide,’’ read the statement.

‘’Currently, there are no generic versions of this medicine being lawfully manufactured. Therefore, any product not manufactured by Novo Nordisk claiming to contain semaglutide is likely to be fake or counterfeit. The public is being exposed to many different types of unregistered/unauthorised products that are either substandard or falsified thereby putting their health at risk,’’ it added.


Done By: Mitchum George


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