Ozempic prescriptions to Americans plunge 99% in B.C. right after N.S. medical doctor suspended

The B.C. governing administration has introduced that the quantity of Ozempic prescriptions getting dispensed to People in america has plummeted by at least 99 for each cent right after the province enacted new restrictions and a health practitioner at the rear of an “unusually large percentage” of prescriptions was quickly suspended.

From Jan. 1 to April 19 of this calendar year, 30,700 Ozempic prescriptions had been dispensed to U.S. inhabitants by B.C. pharmacies. Involving April 20 and Could 31, that exact same selection dropped to 111 — a 99.6 for every cent reduction, in accordance to a press release from the B.C. Ministry of Overall health.

The Ministry explained to World wide Information again in January that it was checking B.C.’s provide of Ozempic, a Style 2 diabetes drug that has created headlines for its off-label use as an obesity remedy, simply because of “recent social media developments and shortages in the United States.”

It seems all those U.S. shortages ended up driving Americans to seek out the drug in Canada, driving fears that Canada would also encounter an Ozempic scarcity as a end result. In the course of the first two months of 2023, B.C. uncovered that up to 15 per cent of the drug’s prescriptions in the province have been currently being sent south of the border.

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On April 19, the province declared a new regulation that bars non-inhabitants from getting Ozempic on the web and by means of mail-buy gross sales. This does not affect Canadians’ obtain to the drug, but it suggests that if an American desires to get an Ozempic prescription stuffed in B.C., they have to obtain it in human being.

The regulation came after the province discovered that just two on the internet B.C. pharmacies experienced loaded 88 for each cent of all prescriptions going to U.S. people, and that 95 for every cent of individuals prescriptions were being being published by a solitary medical professional from Nova Scotia.

Click to play video: 'New regulations to protect B.C. supply of diabetes drug'

New rules to secure B.C. provide of diabetes drug

On April 6, Nova Scotia’s Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons introduced it had temporarily suspended the health practitioner in issue, who experienced published at minimum 17,000 prescriptions for Ozempic inside of a few months.

That physician has been identified as Dr. David Davison, a Nova-Scotia-certified medical doctor centered in Odessa, Texas, who graduated from Dalhousie College in 1977.

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Davison retained a Nova Scotia licence to exercise drugs as a non-resident, however he has not practised in the province “for many decades,” said Dr. Gus Grant, registrar and CEO of Nova Scotia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Grant claimed the higher education suspended the doctor’s licence on an “interim” foundation and introduced a comprehensive investigation, contacting it a “serious make any difference.”

“Based on quantity on your own, the prescribing is not in maintaining with the expectations of the career,” Grant mentioned in a assertion. “I are unable to see how the volume of medications prescribed could probably be supported by proper healthcare evaluation and judgment. On its confront, the prescribing appears incompetent.”

Grant explained it’s incumbent on medical professionals licensed in Nova Scotia to uphold correct prescription procedures “whether the care is sent in-person or by way of virtual medicine.”

As for the two on the net pharmacies centered in B.C. that dispensed countless numbers of Ozempic prescriptions to Individuals, B.C. introduced that the School of Pharmacists is engaged in an ongoing investigation.

The province notes that B.C. pharmacies can fill prescriptions penned by U.S. physicians if they are co-signed by a Canadian practitioner.

Ozempic is a brand-name diabetic issues medication created by Novo Nordisk, but the professional medical component in it is called semaglutide. Semaglutide operates by mimicking a hormone identified as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which stimulates the release of insulin and can help to lessen blood sugar spikes.

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Semaglutide is also effective at regulating diet regime by focusing on parts of the brain that make a individual really feel far more full, and as this sort of, is utilized as a body weight-reduction therapy.

Novo Nordisk basically manufactures two medications in which semaglutide is the only professional medical ingredient: Ozempic for Variety 2 diabetic issues, and Wegovy for being overweight. Equally medicine have been accredited for use in Canada — Ozempic because 2018 and Wegovy since 2021.

No Wegovy prescription has ever been filled in Canada, nonetheless, because of ongoing world shortages. Novo Nordisk stated it had to postpone the drug’s release in Canada because of to “unprecedented desire.”

Both of those Wegovy and Ozempic are administered through weekly injections. The only evident difference involving the two drugs is that Wegovy can be injected at a marginally larger dosage, according to Novo Nordisk healthcare factsheets.

— With files from The Canadian Push

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