Residents in the East express frustrations about the diabetic medication shortage

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – A drug to treat diabetes is in short supply due to the popularity it has to be used for weight loss, according to the FDA.

Doctors say this is now posing a health risk to those who truly need it.

Patients have been struggling to gain access to the popular drugs Wegovy and Ozempic, which are injectible diabetes medications.

The FDA reports that common labels for these medications are Ozempic and Mounjaro.

Diabetic patients use the drug for glucose control while others use the drug for weight loss management thus, creating a struggle for manufacturers to keep up.

Doctors say that health risks are the biggest concern during the shortage that has lasted nearly two years.

Some of those risks include changes in blood sugar, appetite, and weight gain.

Margaret Rose, a Greenville resident and diabetic has experienced the shortage firsthand due to non-diabetics using the medication.

“Everyone who wasn’t diabetic The Ozempic for diabetics and others was taken off the medication because I was on Ozempic once a week to control my diabetes,” Rose told WITN.

Unfortunately, the FDA says that not much can be done to combat the shortage which Rose says is an obvious problem. “It’s very important because it doesn’t have as many side effects as the others do. I don’t know anything about other medications and I’m kind of leery of that because I know the Ozempic worked.”

With limited manufacturers doing their best to keep up with the shortage, the FDA reports that it may take a long time to get enough manufacturing capacity available.

The FDA also says that it can not provide an estimate on the current timeline of shortages of the drug.