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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Dear Annie: Run for Ozempic endangers Diabetics

By Annie Lane Creators Syndicate

Dear Readers: My comments critical of people using diabetes drugs for casual weight loss generated a storm of protest from clinically obese readers who had found a solution to their lifetime struggle with weight loss. But they touched on the subject I was most concerned about, which is that diabetics were suddenly unable to find the drugs that keep them alive and healthy. Below are two samples:

Dear Annie: I just read your change of thought on diabetic drugs being re-marketed for weight loss.

I myself have Type 2 diabetes and have been prescribed Ozempic, which worked wonders on me. I was able to maintain a healthy A1C, between 5.5 – 6.5, well controlled. However, back in late September 2022, I went to refill my prescription for Ozempic, only to find out that it was backordered. After some research, I discovered it due to the manufacturer not anticipating the influx of weight loss; therefore, diabetics were not able to get their medication prescriptions.

I was horrified. I could not get my diabetic medication because it was being given for a non-medical issue. I had to change medications quickly, and it was not as effective, and I am now, after six months, at a 10.5 A1C.

While I understand that Ozempic can be used for weight loss, it should not take away from the diabetics who need it to live a healthy lifestyle. This should have been a consideration from health care providers, as well as Novo Nordisk. – Diabetic

Dear Annie: I am a Type 2 diabetic. At 5-foot-6 and 160 pounds, I am not obesely overweight, and I am very active at 60 years of age. But my A1C still is high. I was put on Ozempic and for once, my A1C dropped to 6.0, the lowest it has ever been.

Now, I cannot get Ozempic. My pharmacy can get the weight loss version but not the one medication that keeps my diabetes under control. The company apparently makes more money on that version than the Ozempic.

“Enlighten the Skinny” said that she pays between $350 and $1,350 for a prescription. I have insurance and still pay $800 per month until my $7,000 deductible is met, and then the insurance company pays at 50% until I spend $9,100.

I want to be angry, but anger makes my blood sugar spike, and I must do everything possible to keep my blood sugars low because my medication isn’t available. Taking diabetic medication for weight loss and not having the medication for those who need it to keep from dying is very irresponsible of the pharmaceutical companies. Money talks. – Enlighten the Diabetics

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