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WHO issues warnings on fake diabetes and weight-loss drugs

By Thomson Reuters Jun 20, 2024 | 9:39 AM

(Reuters) -The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday issued warnings on falsified semaglutides used in diabetes and weight-loss drugs in light of three altered batches of products detected in Brazil, the UK and the United States.

Semaglutide is the active ingredient used in Novo Nordisk’s diabetes drug Ozempic and weight-loss treatment Wegovy.

The WHO has been observing increased reports of falsified semaglutide products in Brazil, the UK and the United States since 2022, it said, though Thursday’s was the first official notice issued by the agency after confirmation of some reports.

It has also noted increased demand for these medicines.

Falsified products could be harmful and if they do not have the necessary raw components, they can lead to health complications resulting from unmanaged blood glucose levels or weight, the WHO said.

(Reporting by Kanjyik Ghosh and Puyaan Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)