Semaglutide Shortage: Revolutionizing Weight Loss Amidst Supply Concerns


In the fitness and health circles recently, a drug named Semaglutide has been drawing quite a lot of attention. Although primarily designed for treating type 2 diabetes, the conversation has now shifted towards its potential role in revolutionizing weight management. However, these advancements come alongside concerns about a Semaglutide shortage.

Semaglutide shortage depicted with an empty grocery store shelf

Why All The Buzz About Semaglutide?

Originally part of the medical arsenal against type 2 diabetes, Semaglutide works by mimicking a hormone (GLP-1) that targets areas of the brain which regulate appetite and food intake. But its use has expanded beyond the realm of diabetes with recent studies showcasing its robust weight loss effects. Certain participants in these studies have reported as much as 15-20% weight loss over a period of 6-8 weeks.

Addressing The Semaglutide Shortage: How It Impacts Weight Loss Regimens

While the interest in Semaglutide for weight loss increases, there’s a looming challenge of the Semaglutide shortage. Given its versatility for both diabetes management and weight loss, supply chain disruptions can hinder patients and individuals who rely on it, making it important to understand the cause of this issue and potential ways to navigate around it.

The landscape surrounding compounded semaglutide has become increasingly complex, with conflicting perspectives from regulatory bodies and pharmaceutical companies. The FDA and the Alliance for Pharmacy Compounding (APC) have issued cautionary statements regarding the purchase of compounded semaglutide from online pharmacies that utilize smeaglutide salts. This article delves into the ongoing debate and sheds light on the perspectives of various stakeholders.

Behind The Semaglutide Shortage: Understanding The Reasons

Several factors contribute to a Semaglutide shortage including increased demand, regulatory barriers, and manufacturing challenges. Given its newfound popularity in the weight loss world, the demand for Semaglutide has significantly grown, adding to the strain on the supply chain.

The FDA’s Drug Shortages List: The high demand for diabetes and weight loss drugs, including semaglutide, led to these medications being placed on the FDA’s Drug Shortages list. As a result, compounded forms of semaglutide were permitted by the FDA. However, as of May 2023, both Ozempic and Wegovy are still listed as drugs in shortage, according to the APC President, Scott Brunner.

Novo Nordisk’s Perspective: Novo Nordisk, the only company in the United States with FDA-approved semaglutide products, asserts that its patent on semaglutide prohibits the compounding of medications containing the same active pharmaceutical ingredient. The company has reportedly sent cease-and-desist letters to certain compounding pharmacies, alleging infringement of its trademarks. Novo Nordisk emphasizes that compounded products lack the safety, quality, and effectiveness assurances of their FDA-approved drugs, potentially exposing patients to health risks.

APC’s Counterargument: The APC challenges Novo Nordisk’s claims, stating that the FDA’s guidance on compounding does not make distinctions for patented drugs. The APC asserts that if an FDA-approved drug, like semaglutide, is on the FDA’s Drug Shortages list, compounded versions of the drug should not be viewed as copies of the FDA-approved drug. The APC also clarifies that Novo Nordisk’s patent is on the finished drug product, not the semaglutide active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) itself.

Supply Chain and Safety Concerns: While Novo Nordisk may control the supply of the API through its contracts with manufacturers, the APC suggests that the supply chain for the active pharmaceutical ingredient is not completely locked down. Reports from compounding pharmacies indicate that they can access semaglutide base from FDA-registered facilities. Nevertheless, the APC advises compounders to seek legal counsel regarding the patent issue and the compounding of semaglutide medications.

FDA’s Warning and APC’s Alignment: The FDA cautions patients about purchasing products sold as “semaglutide” that may not contain the same active ingredient as FDA-approved semaglutide. There is a concern that these products may be salt formulations, such as semaglutide sodium or semaglutide acetate, which have not been proven safe and effective. The APC echoes the FDA’s concerns, stating that compounding with semaglutide sodium is not eligible for use in compounded medication.

Navigating the Semaglutide Shortage: Alternatives for Weight Loss

In the face of a Semaglutide shortage, remaining informed about other weight loss options is essential. While the results of Semaglutide are promising, several other recognized treatments for weight loss, such as Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) also exist. These options have evidence-based results in supporting weight loss, especially when combined with a proper diet and exercise regimen.

That being said, Semaglutide for weight loss remains an option for those in San Diego area who are looking for a medical aid in losing weight.


Semaglutide’s entry into the weight loss sphere has been nothing short of revolutionary. Even as the fitness community continues to explore its potential, the Semaglutide shortage is a major concern that needs addressing. However, with informed choices, effective alternatives, and open conversations with healthcare professionals, this drug shortage can be navigated successfully.