CHESAPEAKE, Va. — A TikTok weight loss trend has lead to diabetes medication shortages in Hampton Roads
Some people are struggling to get the drug they need to treat their diabetes. The drug is called Wegovy, and the brand name is Ozempic. It's used to help the body lower blood sugar levels on its own without the help of insulin, but it's becoming hard to find.
Many doctors are adjusting their patients' medication due to an Ozempic shortage.
The demand for the drug is leaving diabetics searching for answers, including Lily Walker, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was just 9 years old. After losing her father to diabetes a month before she was diagnosed. she prayed to stay alive.
It wasn't until Lily lost her sister shortly after diabetes that she wanted to be an advocate for the diabetes community.
"I did want to make it a point where just advocate and stress the importance of it and how it was important to me," said Walker.
Recently, Ozempic has also been prescribed to people who are close to obesity to help them lose weight. But diabetics need Ozempic to survive.
"Type 2 diabetics do need this medication to lower their blood sugars so just them not being able to get to it as much because others are not using it for what it's made for becomes very concerning," said Walker.
Dr. Ryan Light, a family physician in Chesapeake, said there is help on the way.
"The good news is that there is a nonamolecule by the same company that combines a different medication with it and actually has better weight loss the Wegovy and it's in phase three clinical trials with the FDA so that will be coming to the market pretty soon," said Light.
However, the adjustment in medication and high cost is sometimes a hassle. Some patients are hoping insurance covers it all.
"We have to make some changes the alternative is there is something called repressive oral once-daily pill diabetics can use that," said Light.
Dr. Light also mentioned that he spoke with Ozempic reps, and they say the drug will be more accessible by March.
If you are unable to get your hands on Ozempic, please contact your primary care doctor or endocrinologist for assistance immediately.
For more information on Ozempic, click here.