Ozempic: Australia to ban replicas of the viral diabetes drug

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The Australian government has announced that it will be banning replicas of viral diabetes drugs Ozempic and Mounjaro, citing public safety concerns.

A decision made by Health Minister Mark Butler aims to close the loophole that has allowed pharmacies to make and sell copycat versions to about 20,000 Australians.

“This action will protect Australian from harm and save lives,” he said.

Doctors have reported patients experiencing adverse side effects to the off-brand versions, with one patient experiencing tingling in their feet and toes, while another had severe diarrhoea and vomiting.

The ban comes after an investigation by Four Corners had uncovered that a registered Australian pharmacist was running an international pharmaceutical racket that manufactured copycat Ozempic and was exporting it to the US illegally.

The drugs that swept through Hollywood and became a popular way for people to lose weight have faced ongoing global shortages, with the Therapeutic Goods Administration maintaining that the shortage will continue throughout the rest of this year.

More to come.

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