Male Speaker: The following segment is sponsored by Harding Mazzotti.
Interviewer: Well, poison control centers are receiving an uptick in calls related to accidental overdoses of a popular injected weight loss and diabetes drug, semaglutide. And this medication is sold as Ozempic to treat diabetes and Wegovy for obesity. U.S. poison centers are reporting more than 15 times the amount of documented exposures to products containing this drug from 2019 to this year. So we wanted to talk about what’s causing this uptick. I have Rosemarie Riddell Bogdan from Harding Mazzotti here. Thank you for being here with us. What…
Rosemarie: My pleasure.
Interviewer: …is causing this uptick?
Rosemarie: Well, the first thing we have to realize is these medications have gained in popularity tremendously, right? So, there are tremendous amounts of scripts being written for this. And so, what has actually happened is like in crazy, like, 1.7% of our population has been prescribed one of these drugs at this point. So, with so many people using it, the demand has gone out of control. And so, what’s happening is compounding pharmacies are making it. Now, compounding pharmacies are not making the…they’re not the FDA-approved version of Ozempic and Wegovy. And so, they’re making it, and when they, you know, basically fill the prescription, it’s in a vial and people are having to self-inject it like with syringes as opposed to the brand name, which is one of those pens. People might be familiar with it from other medications, right, where it’s like a preset dose. So, there can be dosing mistakes for it. With the compounding pharmacies, it’s maybe a different formula. So that could be responsible for it as well. Yeah.
Interviewer: Yeah. There have also been reports in adverse events, even with the correct use of these drugs. So what’s that all about?
Rosemarie: Well, what’s surprising is that Ozempic actually had a warning added at the request of the FDA this fall for intestinal blockage, right? And that’s because of the incidents, the adverse reactions as you pointed out, that they’ve seen with the use of the drug. This was a warning that was already on Wegovy. Wegovy and Ozempic are actually the same chemical, the same drug. So, when they’re seeing these increase of these unintended results, right? Now we have warnings going on the drugs about these things. Yeah.
Interviewer: As you’re working on all of this, what is your goal here? What are you trying to get done?
Rosemarie: Right. Well, you know, drug companies have a duty to warn, right, about the risks associated with their product, right? So now the FDA required them to add intestinal blockage, but what we’re also seeing is an increased risk of DVTs, pulmonary embolisms, risks under anesthesia because the stomach is not emptying properly. And, you know, as we go forward, there’s risks with every drug and there’s risks with this one.
Interviewer: Yeah. Well, we’ll continue to follow this, of course. It’s an interesting story and we’ve been hearing a lot about it. Very important stuff. And for more info covered in our weekly “What Are Your Rights?” segments, or to send us a story idea, just head to our website, cbs6albany.com.