The European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) and the European Coalition for People Living with Obesity (ECPO) have issued a joint statement regarding the availability of counterfeit obesity medication and the risk such medication can put the lives of patients at risk.
The new generation of obesity medication is expensive and in short supply, which has created a global surge in black market sales of counterfeit versions of these drugs. False, fake, counterfeit obesity medication may contain dangerous ingredients, which can cause serious health problems, including poisoning, organ damage and death. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) recently warned about the existence of medication delivery pens falsely labelled as Ozempic.
In Austria, several people have been taken to hospital after taking suspected counterfeit obesity medication. Patients experienced severe side effects, including seizures, and it is believed that these counterfeit pens contained insulin in unknown quantities. Insulin overdose may cause disorientation, seizures and death.
Patients with obesity who are considering medication use for treatment are urged to ensure that they access obesity drugs from a reputable source, such as a licensed pharmacy.
The statement concluded by advising that patients can avoid counterfeit obesity medications by:
Only purchasing obesity medication from a licensed pharmacy or your doctor
Being particularly wary of obesity medication that is sold online or at a discounted price.
Having any doubts about the authenticity of obesity medication, do not take it and contact your doctor or pharmacist.