Say Hello to Big Pharma’s Latest Boondoggle: Ozempic
A drug approved in 2017 to treat type 2 diabetes is flying off the shelves for its weight loss side effect. Meet Ozempic, Big Pharma’s latest attempt to cash in on America’s obesity epidemic and leave American taxpayers with the back-breaking bill.
Ozempic is one of three FDA-approved semaglutide drugs on the market manufactured by Danish manufacturer Novo Nordisk. This class of drugs prompts the body to produce more insulin, which reduces blood glucose (sugar). One of the side effects is that it also reduces one’s appetite by slowing how fast the digestive system processes food. Ozempic is marketed to adults eighteen and over to treat type 2 diabetes (along with diet and exercise). It is also approved to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Meanwhile, the FDA approved Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy injections to help people as young as 12 to “lose weight and keep it off,” always with the caveat, “in addition to diet and exercise.” It based its approval on a New England Journal of Medicine 68-week study in 2021 that showed that 77 percent of those on Wegovy had a body mass index reduction greater than 5 percent vs. 20 percent of those taking the placebo. The study surveyed a total of 235 adolescents.
$500 Billion Market Cap
Demand for Ozempic is staggering. It’s lauded by celebs and TikTok influencers around the world as a quick-fix weight loss solution. People magazine chronicles the long list of celebs who’ve used or are currently using the drug—from Oprah Winfrey to Sharon Osbourne; Heather Gay and Tracy Morgan to Amy Schumer. Not all of them have happy stories to tell about their use of the drug either.
In fact, several European countries have restricted the sale of the drug, trying to ration it for those who want to use it strictly for insulin reduction. The scarcity and price triggered another TikTok trend called “Budge Ozempic,” in which people substitute laxatives for the injectable drug. Meanwhile, Novo Nordisk’s market value shot up to $500 billion in its latest earnings report.
It all might sound great, but Ozempic, along with a host of similar diabetes weight loss drugs, comes with a host of possible nasty side effects. They include constant abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Thyroid cancer, kidney failure and vision issues also top the list. In 2023, at least 20 lawsuits were filed against Novo Nordisk and Eli Lily, manufacturers of Ozempic and similar drug, Mounjaro. In one suit, a woman vomited so violently that she lost her teeth. Severe bowel obstruction seems to be a recurring theme, with one person claiming her gallbladder had to be removed after using the weight loss drug.
Weekly Injections for Life
Oh, did we mention Big Pharma’s financial incentive? There is no generic version, and each weekly injection costs $935.77. We’ve heard some reports of up to $1,300 a month. And, naturally, diabetes and obesity being lifelong conditions, the drug companies casually mention that you’ll want to take this FOREVER. If you live 40 years on this drug, that comes to nearly half a million, or $11,229.24 a year, before factoring in inflation. The drug companies and investors are salivating at the masses of future clients: The latest estimates peg nearly 40 percent of American adults as obese and almost 70 percent as overweight or obese. About 17 percent of teens are said to be obese.
Making it a Race Issue
And the icing on the cake is the push to get YOU to pay for all of this; if you resist, you’re a racist. Ever since Medicare’s prescription drug benefit was passed in 2003, fancy non-essential drugs were banned for coverage, including drugs to treat conditions for erectile dysfunction, hair loss and fertility issues. Now drug-company-funded lobbyists are pushing to get these drugs approved. That group includes the NAACP, which, along with the rest of the legacy media, is pushing the line that the government (taxpayers) is obliged to pay for these drugs. Just read a few of the headlines from last year: NPR News pleads, “Wegovy works. But here's what happens if you can't afford to keep taking the drug.” Yahoo News ponders, “Where do Black people fit into the Ozempic conversation?". And then there’s Healthline with, “Black People Are Facing Greater Challenges Accessing Anti-Obesity Drugs Like Ozempic and Wegovy.” Ozempic is currently approved for Medicaid and Medicare coverage as a diabetes drug, but not for weight loss.
‘Open Secret’ Media Paid Off
Calley Means, a pharmaceutical industry whistleblower (who is @calleymeans on X), told Tucker Carlson in a recent interview that it’s an “open secret” that drug companies spend so much money on advertising, not so much to sell prescription drugs, to buy off the media from objective reporting about big pharma. The result is a paid-off media narrative that “instead of talking about the root cause [of obesity and type 2 diabetes], we're saying that a weekly injection that you have to take for your entire life” is the preferred treatment, Means says. “Pharma stocks are going up…they're doing cartwheels on Wall Street…we are standing to put trillions of government funding into this drug to be the most successful drug in American history.”
Ozempic type drugs “essentially paralyze your stomach to make you not be able to process food correctly,” Means says, a condition that can be long-lasting. “There's lawsuits now with people with severe gastrointestinal issues after coming off the drug.”
Pharmaceuticals don’t have to be the answer. Means and his sister, Dr. Casey Means, believe eating right and exercising can prevent a lot of the diseases Americans struggle with today, everything from anxiety and depression to type 2 diabetes and obesity. Their book, “Good Energy: The Surprising Connection Between Metabolism and Limitless Health,” will be published in May.
“If a fish tank is dirty, you clean the tank, you don't drug the fish,” he adds. “Right now in America, we’ve got a very dirty tank.”