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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — We’ve told you about all kinds of shortages recently, but now certain insulin drugs that are sometimes also used for weight loss are hard to come by.
It’s a shortage impacting diabetic Arkansans— and at local pharmacies like Kavanaugh Pharmacy, diabetes drugs haven’t been easy to get.
Pharmacist Anne Pace said that it’s in short supply and people all over have been looking for other alternatives.
“It’s extremely frustrating for us. And it’s extremely frustrating for patients who are doing well on that medication to then not be able to get it,” Pace said.
Pace added that it’s a problem that keeps getting worse.
“This week has probably gotten the worst for us,” she said.
Ozempic is a noninsulin used to treat type 2 Diabetes, but it can also help with weight loss. According to CBS news, a social media trend of people sharing weight loss results triggered the drug shortage.
“This one’s making a huge impact on, you know, on diabetic patients, and there’s not a lot of different options, we can switch to some of the other things we can try make different antibiotic switches, but it’s very problematic,” Pace said.
Wegovy, a similar drug specifically for weight loss, is also in short supply.
“That was a lot more popular earlier in this year because there was a coupon card that was effective for that,” Pace said.
She said that both drugs cost more than a thousand dollars a month out of pocket.
According to Dr. Lakshmi Menon at UAMS, there are other drug options for her diabetic patients, but it’s not ideal.
“Those individuals not being able to get Ozempic, it has resulted in much higher blood sugars, and just the stress associated with it, because then it becomes a vicious cycle. Because what people may not realize is that stress has a big effect on your blood sugars,” Dr. Lakshmi Menon said.
Dr. Menon and Pace both said that there’s no telling when things will get better.
“Things keep changing. And we just have to kind of adapt to that,” Dr. Menon said.
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