Novo Nordisk (NVO) will limit the supplies of starter kits used to administer its diabetes drug Ozempic in Europe as its off-label use for obesity surges, Reuters reported Tuesday, citing the EU drug regulator and a note sent by the company to healthcare professionals.
The Danish drugmaker will also limit the supply of the 0.25-mg starting dose of Ozempic to prioritize existing patients on the treatment. The company has already used the strategy in the U.S., where the GLP-1 receptor agonist identified as semaglutide is approved for weight loss as Wegovy.
While Ozempic is not indicated for obesity, it is widely used for weight management, pressuring already-constrained supplies.
“It is recommended to limit initiations of new patients (on Ozempic) during the shortage and until the supply situation improves, which is expected in Q1 2024,” Novo (NVO) said.
The company is also cutting the supplies of another diabetes drug called Victoza to boost Ozempic production. Victoza contains GLP-1 receptor agonist liraglutide, as its active ingredient. “No new patients should be started on Victoza until at least Q2 2024 when supply is expected to normalize,” Novo said.
Meanwhile, the European Medicines Agency said that Ozempic and Victoza shortages will last throughout 2024 and until at least Q2 2024, respectively.