We have been discussing a new class of diabetes medications that many people are using to lose weight for months. Some users are reportedly going to great efforts to obtain the medication, which worries some doctors.
The clamour surrounding diet culture is only getting louder, with contributions from social media, celebrities, and advertisements everywhere. Off-label usage of a new class of diabetes injectables for weight loss. Brands like Mounjaro, Wegovy, and Ozempic have become more well-known and are dominating social media.
Since the drugs work so well, people will go to tremendous lengths to obtain them. There are a tonne of tips and ways to avoid traditional doctors and insurance, which can cost thousands of dollars, on Reddit threads on TikTok. Companies like “Hello Alpha” that provide telehealth services have emerged as important sources for people to buy these drugs.
“That’s actually our number one medical condition that we’re treating. Currently, it comprises about 80% of our visits currently,” said Dr. Mary Jacobsen.
Jacobsen is the Chief Medical Officer for “Hello Alpha.”
“There’s no schedule, patients can complete a medical intake form 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. And then that visit, once it’s completed and submitted, goes to a provider who’s licensed in the state where the patient is, and then the provider will respond within 24 hours,” said Jacobsen.
Why so many people are turning to a diabetes drug for weight loss | ABCNL
When using “Hello Alpha,” telehealth is simple and reasonably priced; a consultation there will run you about $49 total. And using telehealth helps many people who suffer with obesity by removing the stigma and criticism.
“They face a lot of stigmas, a lot of confirmation bias, even from primary care providers, who think that excess weight is really a willpower issue and just, you know, eat less and exercise more,”
According to Jacobsen, “Hello Alpha” screens people initially by inquiring about past medical issues. The business takes these measures to reduce the number of potential drug users.
“We’re very disciplined, and very rigorous about screening patients. We’re not a vending machine, we just don’t prescribe medication for all,” said Jacobsen.
What the future holds?
However, the accessibility of obtaining these injectables has given rise to a number of additional worries with the development of telehealth.
Before utilising any of the medications, Dr. Carolina Solis-Herrera, M.D., of UT Health San Antonio, advises that you should talk to your doctor. She also issues a warning regarding off-brands that are emerging as a result of the medications’ rising popularity.
“The Semaglutide that they’re advertising in social media is a compounded medication. We do not know where it comes from. We do not know what’s in it,” said Solis-Herrera.
Ozempic and Wegovy are generic names for a Semaglutide molecule. Numerous telehealth websites and Med spas offer it widely.
“It’s all these advertisements of cheap Semaglutide for $25 that you can find on social media. They tell you, oh yes, see a doctor for three minutes and we’ll give you Semaglutide, we’ll give you a shot. The only Semaglutide that exists is the one that comes from the company; the official company, which in this case is Novo Nordisk. So, whatever this is in that vial, we don’t know what that is,” she said.