The UK medicine regulatory officials have released a public warning letter recommending against the usage of fake and potentially damaging weight loss pens. The UK health authority has seized hundreds of devices sold by illegitimate dealers. The officials say that these weight loss pens are supposed to contain drugs like Ozempic (semaglutide) or Saxenda (liraglutide), that are utilized for weight loss. Nevertheless, experts suspect that these fake pens contain other harmful elements. The UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has seized these fake weight-loss pens obtained without prescription from the black market traders. Some people have been admitted to the hospital after using a bogus version of the weight-loss control shot Ozempic. They have suffered adverse side effects such as hypoglycemic shock and coma, hence this incident has prompted health officials to suspect that these counterfeit weight-loss pens might be containing insulin.
The MHRA has urged people not to buy or use any pre-filled weight loss pens that claim to contain Saxenda or Ozempic. The chief safety officer of the MHRA has said that buying drugs such as Saxenda or Ozempic without a prescription, from illegal dealers, majorly elevates the risk of obtaining either counterfeit or unauthorized weight loss pens that are prohibited in the UK. Since the beginning of this year, the MHRA detained around 369 potentially fake Ozempic weight-loss pens. The MHRA has received reports of fake Saxenda weight loss pens being circulated in the market, which have been acquired through illegal means, such as unfettered websites or without a prescription.
Health experts say that these weight-loss pens do not fulfill strict quality and safety criteria and they can significantly impact public health. People should immediately report the purchase of such fake products to authorities, therefore, experts can investigate and take required action against such products. Semaglutide and liraglutide are utilized in the UK for treating type 2 diabetes and maintaining ideal body weight, they are accessible as injections and often called pens or jabs. Saxenda is an authorized drug in the UK used for weight loss, combined with diet and exercise. Ozempic is used for treating type 2 diabetes, however, it is not approved for weight loss in the country.