A number of folks have been admitted to hospital in Austria after utilizing suspected faux variations of Novo Nordisk’s diabetes drug Ozempic, the nation’s well being security physique has stated, the primary report of hurt to customers as a European hunt for counterfeiters widened.
The sufferers have been reported to have suffered hypoglycaemia and seizures, severe side-effects that point out that the product contained insulin as a substitute of Ozempic’s lively ingredient semaglutide, the well being security regulator Bundesamt für Sicherheit im Gesundheitswesen (BASG) stated on Monday.
The European Medicines Company (EMA) warned final week that pens falsely labelled as Ozempic have been in circulation, and Austria’s legal investigation service stated on Monday that the faux injection pens may nonetheless be in circulation.
The Danish maker of the drug, Novo Nordisk, has warned of an increase within the on-line gives of counterfeit Ozempic in addition to its weight-loss drug Wegovy, each primarily based on semaglutide.
“It seems that this scarcity is being exploited by legal organisations to carry counterfeits of Ozempic to market,” stated BASG.
When requested to touch upon the Austrian circumstances, Novo Nordisk stated in a press release that it was investigating and reporting each counterfeit case that got here to its consideration. It reiterated that it had elevated efforts to watch and take down unlawful on-line gives.
“We recognise the restrictions of this train and are conducting bodily investigations the place warranted,” Novo Nordisk stated, including that this at occasions concerned specialised companies “on the bottom” to assist authorities observe down counterfeiters.
BASG didn’t present an actual variety of folks harmed by the faux Ozempic or say how long-lasting the antagonistic results could be on their well being.
The organisation operating the EU’s medicines verification system, which conducts digital surveillance of medication allotted by pharmacists, has confirmed the EMA’s discovering that no fakes had emerged in retail pharmacies.
The EMA and authorities in Germany and Britain, together with prosecutors in south-western Germany, have been investigating a case through which bogus injection pens with German labels in real Ozempic packaging have been allegedly bought from a wholesaler in Austria to Germany, and on to 2 British wholesalers.
BASG stated it might not remark additional on the case, to guard the investigation.