Federal officials are urging Ozempic users to verify the legitimacy of their medications because counterfeit versions of the popular diabetes drug have been sold through legitimate sources.
The Food and Drug Administration has seized “thousands of units” of counterfeit 1-milligram Ozempic injections in an ongoing investigation, it was reported. saying Thursday in a consumer alert. The drugs have been linked to five reports of illnesses, but none of the cases were serious, the advisory shows.
Ozempic products with lot number NAR0074 and serial number 430834149057 on the box are counterfeit products and should not be used, the FDA warned.
The ingredients, quality and safety of the fake drugs are not yet known, the FDA said. Ozempic's maker, Novo Nordisk, and the FDA are testing the seized products, according to the notice.
The illegitimate products come with labels for pens, cartons, information sheets and needles that are also counterfeit, the notice shows. Needles pose an infection risk to consumers because it is not yet clear whether they are sterile or not, according to Novo Nordisk saying Thursday in a statement.
Ozempic has been inwhile celebrities promoted the drug fueling public interest in the product.
Amid the shortage, scammers have sold illegitimate Ozempic-like products to pharmacies,. It is still unclear whether the counterfeits are authentic products being diverted from foreign markets or whether they are being produced by scammers within the US.
Last month, the FDA revealed that three people had been hospitalized after taking suspected counterfeit products containing semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic.
The FDA recommends that retail pharmacies purchase authentic Ozempic only through authorized distributors and that patients obtain it only through state-licensed pharmacies.
Consumers can report suspicious Ozempic packages by calling 800-332-1088 or contacting a state complaints coordinator.
The Associated Press contributed reporting.
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