FDA says it has seized 'thousands of units' of counterfeit Ozempic


The FDA warns against using Ozempic products marked as shown with lot number NAR0074 and serial number 430834149057.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Thursday that it had seized “thousands of units” of counterfeit versions of the type 2 diabetes drug Ozempic from the U.S. drug supply chain and urged suppliers, pharmacies and patients to be cautious. Five people became ill related to the products, but none of the cases were serious, the FDA said.

The FDA is warning pharmacies, health systems, wholesalers and patients to double-check their semaglutide products to make sure they are genuine. Ozempic 1-milligram injectable products with lot number NAR0074 and serial number 430834149057 on the packaging should not be used.

The agency and drugmaker Novo Nordisk are testing the counterfeits to determine whether they are dangerous and to find out what substance they are. The pen label, box, information for patients and healthcare professionals, and needles included with the injectors were also counterfeit, the FDA said. The sterility of the needles cannot be confirmed, so their use could result in infection.

The FDA reminded patients to only get their medications from federally licensed pharmacies with a valid prescription.

Ozempic is in short supply as it became increasingly popular with celebrities who used it to lose weight. Since the popularity of Ozempic and its sister weight-loss drug, Wegovy, has increased, there have been reports of people selling counterfeit versions in salons and on social media.

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Separately, the FDA has also sent letters to online sellers asking them to stop selling knockoffs. Novo Nordisk has sued to stop medical spas, medical clinics and weight loss clinics from selling counterfeit versions.

The FDA said it is working with other federal agencies and Novo Nordisk to remove additional counterfeit semaglutide injection products.

Consumers can call Novo Nordisk at 1-800-727-6500 if they have questions or find counterfeit products. People can also report the counterfeit products to their local FDA consumer complaint coordinator or on the FDA website.

Correction: This story has been updated to accurately reflect the amount of counterfeit Ozempic seized.