Novo Nordisk says diabetes drugs shortages will persist through 2024

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By Ludwig Burger and Eva Mathews

(Reuters) – Shortages of Novo Nordisk’s diabetes drugs Ozempic and Victoza will deteriorate in the fourth quarter of 2023 and persist throughout 2024, the Danish company and the EU’s drug regulator said, as surging demand from people seeking to lose weight shows no sign of letting up.

According to a note to healthcare professionals by Novo and the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the Danish drugmaker would temporarily reduce the supply of Victoza in order to increase the supply of Ozempic.

Intermittent Ozempic shortages are expected throughout 2024, while Victoza shortages are expected at least until the second quarter of 2024, according to the statement on EMA’s website.

Both Victoza and Ozempic are injections based on the substance class of GLP-1 receptor agonists, but only the latter has been associated with considerable weight loss and suppression of appetite, in addition to regulating insulin production.

Ozempic contains semaglutide, the same as in Novo’s higher-dosed weight-loss drug Wegovy, while the active ingredient in Victoza is known as liraglutide.

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger and Eva Mathews; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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