November 28, 2023

Eli Lilly has tightened access to diabetes drug Mounjaro after a TikTok trend saw people using the medication for weight-loss purposes.

Demand for weight-loss drugs have surged following the rise of online trends in which people use certain types of medication to try to achieve rapid weight loss.

As a result of the huge online trend, pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and other pharmacies have cut access to diabetes medication Mounjaro for those not diagnosed with the condition.

Let’s find out what Mounjaro is and what the medication is prescribed for.

Eli Lilly cuts access to ‘weight loss’ diabetes drug

As reported by Stat News, medicine manufacturer Eli Lilly and pharmacies have reduced access to a drug called tirzepatide, which is sold under the brand name of Mounjaro. The drug is sold to patients with Type 2 diabetes.

At the time of writing, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had yet to list the drug in shortage. However, the company said it was monitoring its “supply with a focus on access for people with type 2 diabetes.”

Mounjaro is made by Indianapolis-headquartered Eli Lilly and Company and the drug was approved by the FDA earlier this year.

Novo Nordisk’s obesity drug Wegovy and diabetes drug Ozempic have also been in short supply in recent months following high demand.

What is Mounjaro?

Mounjaro is an injectable medication prescribed to adults with Type 2 diabetes mellitus. The drug is used alongside diet and exercise to improve blood sugar (glucose) levels in adults.

On the medication’s website, Eli Lilly and Company states the drug is not for weight loss but there are reports those who have used it had lost up to 25lb (11kg).

On its own website, the company also states the drug is not for people diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. It is also not known whether the medication is safe for people under the age of 18.

The company adds that in studies with or without other diabetes medications, weight loss in adults ranged from 12lb to 25lb.

FDA lists Ozempic in shortage

At the time of writing, the FDA has listed Ozempic 0.25mg and 0.5mg as being under “limited availability” after demand for it surged significantly in recent months.

The FDA stated the reason for the shortage stemmed from “demand increase for the drug” and added there was “limited availability.”

The website notes there are stock outages in US pharmacies and intermittent supply disruption would continue through January 2023.

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