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Following advice from Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals that semaglutide (Ozempic) will not be available in Australia from mid-November 2022 to 31 March 2023, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has published new guidelines for prescribers with patients who are affected by the shortage.
There remains an increased global demand for semaglutide products which is impacting availability and certainty of supply of Ozempic (semaglutide) in Australia until early 2023.
Due to the ongoing limited availability of Ozempic:
prescribers should consider alternatives before initiating Ozempic as achieving the desired health outcomes may be tied to patients’ ability to secure supply in a timely manner.
health professionals should continue to prioritise supply of Ozempic for people with type 2 diabetes, where other diabetes medications are not suitable, to enable continuity of care.
On 1 September 2022, Wegovy (semaglutide) solution for injection, sponsored by Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd (Novo Nordisk), was approved for inclusion on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) for chronic weight management, as an adjunct to a reduced-energy diet and increased physical activity when specific criteria are met. While Ozempic and Wegovy contain the same active ingredient, semaglutide, they have different approved indications and uses, as well as different dosages and devices. As such, Ozempic and Wegovy are not interchangeable.
Novo Nordisk is not yet supplying Wegovy in Australia. Enquiries about supply of Wegovy or Ozempic should be directed to Novo Nordisk at email@example.com
The TGA met with stakeholders who co-developed the Ozempic joint statement and key obesity professional organisations — Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society (ANZOS), National Association of Clinical Obesity Services (NACOS) and The Collective for Action on Obesity — to discuss recommendations for patients and health professionals affected by the shortage of Ozempic.
The group recognised the challenges for people with type 2 diabetes affected by this shortage while acknowledging that obesity is a highly prevalent, serious, complex, and chronic disease that is challenging to manage. The group agreed that prescribers treating patients with either condition should be advised to strongly consider alternatives to semaglutide because of the current intermittent supply situation.
The TGA will continue to monitor the supply situation and provide further updates when available.
The Department of Health and Aged Care acknowledges First Nations peoples as the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to all Elders both past and present.