Watch out for fake versions of popular weight-loss drugs, WHO says – CBC

Jun 20, 2024

The World Health Organization and drug maker Eli Lilly and Co. are warning people to be wary of fake versions of popular weight-loss and diabetes medicines.

The WHO said Thursday that it has fielded several reports of fake semaglutide — the active ingredient in Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy and Ozempic — in all geographic regions of the world since 2022.

Eli Lilly said in an open letter that it was “deeply concerned” about growing online sales and social media posts involving phony or compounded versions of tirzepatide, the active ingredient behind its drugs Mounjaro and Zepbound.

The Indianapolis-based company said it was the only lawful supplier of those drugs, and it does not provide tirzepatide to compounding pharmacies, wellness centres or online retailers.

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