Monday, November 20, 2023

Reuters: German medicines regulator considering export ban on Ozempic

Via Reuters: 

FRANKFURT, Nov 15 (Reuters) - German regulator BfArM is considering banning Ozempic exports as Europe's health systems grapple with shortage of the diabetes drug, which is in high demand for its weight-loss benefits.

Use of Novo Nordisk's (NOVOb.CO) Ozempic for weight loss has caused shortages across Europe, where Britain and Belgium have temporarily banned its use for weight loss to secure availability for diabetics.

Novo's launch of anti-obesity drug Wegovy, a high dose version of Ozempic, in Britain, Germany, Norway and Denmark, has so far done little to temper the craze for Ozempic as volumes of Wegovy have been limited due to production bottlenecks... 

...BfArM's Broich said some Ozempic was being moved out of the country because it is cheaper there than elsewhere, and demand was driven by use for weight loss.

Broich cautioned that export restrictions can only be rarely used and legal hurdles were high because of the European Union's single market.

Nothing has stopped me from being convinced that Novo Nordisk badly underestimated demand for Ozempic and failed to ramp up manufacturing sufficiently to meet both current and future demand. It will be interesting to watch the race between Novo and Lilly to see who will ultimately capture the most market share for GLP-1 drugs.  

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