WHO issues warnings on fake diabetes and weight-loss drugs

The World Health Organization on Thursday issued warnings on falsified semaglutides used in diabetes and weight-loss drugs in light of three altered batches of products.

The World Health Organization on Thursday issued warnings on falsified semaglutides used in diabetes and weight-loss drugs in light of three altered batches of products. (Denis Balibouse, Reuters)


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GENEVA — The World Health Organization on Thursday issued warnings on falsified semaglutides used in diabetes and weight-loss drugs in light of three altered batches of products detected in Brazil, the U.K. and the United States.

Semaglutide is the active ingredient used in Novo Nordisk's diabetes drug Ozempic and weight-loss treatment Wegovy.

The WHO has been observing increased reports of falsified semaglutide products in Brazil, the U.K. and the United States since 2022, it said, though Thursday's was the first official notice issued by the agency after confirmation of some reports.

It has also noted increased demand for these medicines.

Falsified products could be harmful and if they do not have the necessary raw components, they can lead to health complications resulting from unmanaged blood glucose levels or weight, the WHO said.

Contributing: Puyaan Singh

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