E-commerce platform Shopee has halted the sale of the diabetes drug Ozempic, Free Malaysia Today reports. Shopee has removed the drug listings and taken action against the sellers. The company reminded sellers of their responsibility to comply with local regulations and Shopee’s own prohibited items policies.
Ozempic, which contains semaglutide, a substance for treating Type 2 diabetes in adults, had been listed as a weight-loss product on Shopee. Celebrities such as Amy Schumer, Kim Kardashian, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk have popularized semaglutide. Musk credited his good physique to fasting and Wegovy, another medication containing semaglutide.
Pharmaceutical Association of Malaysia (PhAMA) president Kam Ai Teng warned that medicines like Ozempic must be prescribed by certified doctors and not sold over the counter or online. She emphasized the risks of buying such medication online, including potential counterfeits and incorrect storage.
"As such, anyone who buys such medication online will be putting their health at risk, even if they are buying it as a follow-up after the doctor's prescription has finished," she said.
Dr. Alexander Tan of Sunway Medical Centre also warned of the risks of taking the wrong dosage and suffering side effects from purchasing Ozempic online without a proper prescription. He noted that Ozempic is not an approved drug for weight loss and its side effects include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.