An antidiabetic drug touted on TikTok for its weight loss “virtues” is out of stock in Australia, preventing patients from accessing treatment. A new example of social media drift in the name of the skinny cult.
Australia is currently facing a shortage of Ozempic, a drug prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes. This is TikTok, the favorite social network for teenagers. Since mid-May, the name of this injectable drug has been circulating there, among the possible side effects of which weight loss appears. It can be found in the form of various hashtags (#ozempic, #ozempicjourney, #ozempicaustralia, etc.) with over 74 million views. Guardian.
Developed by Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, sales have skyrocketed as Australian TikTokers promote the anti-diabetic drug as a weight loss drug, claiming to get it from their GPs’ prescriptions. In response, the Therapeutic Goods Authority of Australia (TGA) has urged healthcare professionals to only deliver medicines in cases of confirmed type 2 diabetes. “This increase in demand is being attributed to many prescriptions in the context of treating obesity, a condition for which Ozempic is not indicated.”can be read, in particular, in the preventive press release issued by the regulator on 17 May.
This blood sugar-lowering treatment comes with its fair share of contraindications (particularly if pregnant or breastfeeding) and side effects (vomiting and nausea), says Karen Price, president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Guardian. This Sunday, June 5, going to TikTok, we see that the term “Ozempic” has already crossed the borders of Australia and appears, in particular, in accounts registered in the US or the Middle East.
“This drug is not safe, but more importantly, it has not been approved for weight loss in either Australia or the UK. Such high demand, when used in a contraindicated way, prevents people who really need treatment from accessing it.” Karen Price added, recommending that “advice” posted on social media like TikTok should be treated with great caution. Anthony Tassone, president of the Victorian College of Pharmacists, told him Ozempic stock would not bounce back until mid-June 2022.
Physical and psychological damage
Social media’s contribution to the precepts of beauty and the cult of thinness no longer needs to be demonstrated, nor does its collateral damage, both physical and psychological, especially among teenagers. In France, several of the ubiquitous “trends” or “challenges” originating from TikTok have been popularized recently.