Ozempic is a highly sought after drug for managing diabetes and weight management, but it is important to know that it is prescription only. In Australia, this means you will need to speak with your doctor and have a prescription written up before you can start taking Ozempic.
Currently, Ozempic is only approved for use in people with type 2 diabetes. However, doctors may prescribe Ozempic off-label for weight loss. For this purpose, they may prescribe the drug to someone who does not have type 2 diabetes.
Get a prescription from your HCP: The first step is to get a prescription from your HCP. They will provide you with a prescription that you can take to your local pharmacy. Purchase from a local pharmacy: Once you have your prescription, you can purchase Ozempic® from your local pharmacy.
Following the DA communication, health professionals have now been asked to prescribe and dispense Ozempic for only those adults living with type 2 diabetes.
You can be prescribed on the NHS via your GP if you're living with type 2 diabetes as an addition to diet and exercise. Additionally, semaglutide (the active ingredient in Ozempic) may be prescribed as part of Tier 3 weight management services.
You might be a candidate for Ozempic if you meet these criteria: You have Type 2 diabetes. Your A1C level is uncontrolled with other interventions. You have cardiovascular disease or are at a high risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Ozempic is a type 2 diabetes medication which is prescribed to manage blood glucose levels. It is not a medication for people who do not have diabetes or are at risk of type 2 diabetes.
There has been a global shortage of Ozempic since early 2022 because of an unexpected increase in consumer demand because of off-label use of the drug for weight loss.
'Ozempic stocks are available in Australia; however, there will be limited and intermittent availability until June 2023,' the statement reads.
How to Get Ozempic in Australia. Ozempic is a highly sought after drug for managing diabetes and weight management, but it is important to know that it is prescription only. In Australia, this means you will need to speak with your doctor and have a prescription written up before you can start taking Ozempic.
So, on average, with the recommended starting Ozempic dose of 0.25 mg, a 500 to 1000 calorie reduced diet, and exercise 3 times a week, you can expect to lose 3-5 pounds in the first month of treatment, which works out to about 3% of body weight for most overweight or obese individuals.
If you qualify for insurance coverage, Ozempic can cost as little as $25 for a monthly supply. However, without insurance, Ozempic costs around $892.06 per month, on average (NovoCare-a, 2022).
Once you begin using Ozempic, some people can find it takes several weeks to see any weight loss, yet others may see some weight loss within a week or 2. While it can be difficult, try to remain patient — change looks different for everyone.
How Long Can You Stay on Ozempic (semaglutide)? A person can stay on Ozempic® so long as they are tolerating the medication and it is deemed appropriate by their treating provider. There is no specific time frame when someone should stop taking Ozempic as it is a medication that is intended for chronic (long-term) use.
Ozempic can be prescribed for patients who have a BMI of 30 or more.
On the PBS, Ozempic costs Australians about $42 a month (four weekly injections). On a private prescription, the cost is about $132 a month.
Overseas-registered Ozempic is available
While the Australian-registered Ozempic is subsidised on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), the overseas-registered products currently are not.
Saxenda is an approved weight loss medication, and is readily available in Australia. Cost is approximately $387 a month. The knock on effect from the Ozempic shortage, is that Trulicity which is manufactured by Ely-Lilly is now in short supply.
Ozempic® is more effective for weight loss and blood sugar improvements than Saxenda®. Studies have also shown that Ozempic® leads to fewer side effects and adverse events than Saxenda® with people tolerating Ozempic® better.
You've hit a plateau
It's normal to eventually hit a point where your weight loss slows down, especially if you're not working on keeping or building up your muscle mass. Losing muscle along with fat slows your metabolism and can slow down your weight loss.
Medicare doesn't cover Ozempic (or Wegovy) for weight loss
Over 40% of U.S. adults age 60 and older are considered obese, according to 2017-2020 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite the prevalence of obesity among older adults, Medicare won't cover weight loss drugs, including Wegovy.
Do not use Ozempic® if you or any of your family have ever had MTC, or if you have an endocrine system condition called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).
High fat foods or sugary foods
Ozempic can cause nausea and vomiting if taken after eating foods high in fat or sugar. It is recommended that you take Ozempic before meals, rather than after, to minimise any potential side effects from eating high-fat or high-sugar foods.