By Samuel Obedgiu
Has the English writer William Wymark Jacobs’ children’s book “The Monkey’s Paw” caught your attention? The terrifying fable says, “Whoever owns the monkey’s paw is granted three wishes, all of which come true but at a great cost.” That’s only a kid’s tale, though; a real monkey’s paw is starting to take shape. I refer to the medication used to lose weight, more especially the Novo Nordisk injections.
The pharmaceutical business Novo Nordisk, based in Denmark, is valued at about $400 billion. Currently ranked as one of Europe’s most valuable companies, it produces two important drugs: Ozempic, which is used to treat type 2 diabetes and aids in weight loss, and Wegovy, which aids in weight loss. The US, Canada, Europe, Japan, China, and Australia have all approved it. In recent times, these medications have gained widespread recognition.
Overweight or obese persons made up 38% of the world’s population in 2020 (2.6 billion people), and by 2025, that number will have increased to over 4 billion people or more than half of the total population. These diet pills have received the support of numerous well-known individuals, like Elon Musk of Tesla and Twitter, former UK prime minister Boris Johnson, etc. There are already significant shortages worldwide because the hype is real.
Consequently, a profitable black market has emerged world over as a result of the rush for these weight loss medications. Pharmacies all throughout the world are obtaining counterfeit ingredients for these medications, manufacturing them, and offering them to patients not only in developed world but also in global south. Some pharmacies have even established beauty parlours to entice clients looking to lose a few pounds. Social media further complicates things; influencers are attempting to sell counterfeit pharmaceuticals by searching for customers online and via Instagram, Facebook, twitter, etc., but this is backfiring.
The number of hospital visits coincides with an increase in demand globally. For example, in July of this year, it was all over news that a Scottish national woman injected herself with a phony medication and awoke the following morning paralyzed. It was also reported that many Austrians got potentially fatal caesuras in October of this year as a result of using phony Ozempic medications. Although the governments of Austria, Germany, Belgium, the UK, and Australia stopped the selling of fake weight-loss medications this year and launched investigations, the illicit marketplaces are still free to operate.
“Falsified Ozempic medications should not be utilized and one may distinguish between legitimate and fake Ozempic drugs using a scale indicator or the dose selector,” stated Novo Nordisk. However, is the typical individual even aware of these gadgets or does he or she own any of them at home? I question the sincerity of Novo Nordisk’s official communication.
Many people have already begun to wonder, in addition to the counterfeit, how safe the genuine Wigovy or Ozempic medications are. Simply observe their adverse effects like hair loss, blisters, bleeding, diarrhoea, constipation, etc. Research is also being done on the negative effects of suicidal thoughts.
In an apparent response, Novo Nordisk stated that not enough information is available to ascertain the effects of drug consumption. People experience gross negative effects of the company’s medications and yet it gets wealthy on a regular basis. Between 2021 and this year, Wegovy and Ozempic’s sales jumped from $16 billion to $21 billion.
The buyers are now held accountable for the current situation since the corporation has wisely recanted. However, the majority of people don’t actually have many options, and science doesn’t have many answers for obese patients. They are limited to choosing nutritious diets and exercise regimens that may not yield significant outcomes. As a last resort, they can have surgery, which is a worst-case scenario.
There are various types of weight loss medications available, but Wigovy and Ozempic have been shown to produce the best outcomes. Unless we recognize that obesity is a societal issue stemming from policy failure, magic tricks and poor policy will continue to afflict us. It is not a personal responsibility issue, nor is it a choice to follow weight loss programs.
Civic Human Rights Activist