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More than 250 websites selling fake Ozempic & other weight loss drugs reported by anti-counterfeit firm

counterfeit-ozempic

BrandShield, the company that provided this information exclusively to Reuters, said that of two79 pharmacies it shut down in the year 2000 to sell drugs designed to treat metabolic disorders, over 90% of them had to do with GLP-1 medications, according to Keren.

Novo Nordisk opens a new tab, and Ozempic, Wegovy, and Eli Lilly open a new one. Mounjaro and Zepbound are GLP-1-based drugs designed to treat type 2 diabetes. They also help reduce food cravings and make the stomach empty faster.

The drug has been proven to aid in losing an average of 20 percent of their weight, leading to a rapid increase in demand and growing demand in the global market for counterfeit versions.

The risk of harm attributed to fake variants based on fake versions of Ozempic and other GLP-1s has been documented across at most nine nations, including Belgium, Britain, Switzerland, and the United States.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see criminals try to use the growing popularity of these drugs to sell more counterfeits,” Keren said. Keren.

Websites shut off the internet for selling fake GLP-1s accounted for just under 15 percent of the websites BrandShield found last year selling counterfeit medicines in various areas like hormone-related medications, Central nervous system medicines, and cancer treatments.

Websites that sell counterfeit GLP-1s became not as prevalent in 2022 when the company uncovered 34 such websites that were to be shut down, but it was not focusing on all GLP-1 drugs in the same way as it was in 2023, as stated by Keren.

The firm he worked for in the past year could not find the same amount of one particular class of drugs in any treatment area as it did with GLP-1s in metabolic treatments.

BrandShield collaborated with the Pharmaceutical Security Institute (PSI), an organization backed by the industry, to shut down these websites. PSI’s members, including Lilly and Novo, chose which drugs to target by Keren.

The company’s CEO said that it is able to shut down these websites by obtaining evidence that their products are not genuine and then submitting it to the service providers that host the site.

If requested or permitted by its drug-making clients, BrandShield will share that information with law enforcement agencies. In December, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stated that it was looking into the possibility of counterfeit Ozempic within its legitimate U.S. supply chain.

BrandShield also wiped out 3,968 profiles on social media platforms that advertised fake drugs in all categories in the past year, with nearly 60% of them located on Facebook in an updated report by the company.

The company has removed more than 6,900 illegal drug listings on marketplaces and social media platforms overall, including 92 marketplaces located in India, 544 in Indonesia, 364 listings in China, and 114 from Brazil.

Keren stated that the company didn’t have information on the number of these listings on social media or marketplaces offering fake GLP-1s.

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