NOTICE PAPER NO. 1892
NOTICE OF QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
FOR THE SITTING OF PARLIAMENT ON 8 MAY 2023
Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Mr Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim
MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC
Question No. 2982
To ask the Minister for Health in light of the huge demand for diabetes medication Ozempic and Wegovy in the United States driven by weight loss trends on social media (a) what are the steps taken to ensure that diabetic patients in Singapore have sufficient stocks and that such medications are not purchased other than for their prescribed medical use; and (b) whether the Ministry tracks the latest social media trends to anticipate any demands on medications.
Ozempic and Wegovy contain Semaglutide and belong to the class of medicines called GLP-1 agonists. There are three GLP-1 agonists registered as Prescription Only Medicines (POM) in Singapore to treat diabetes and weight management in specific patient populations. Doctors will assess patients’ conditions and prescribe according to clinical guidelines. As POMs, Ozempic and Wegovy can only be obtained from a doctor, or from a pharmacist with a prescription from a doctor.
While social media trends have marketed Ozempic and Wegovy as quick fixes for weight loss, it is important that consumers know the risks associated with these medicines. Like all prescription only medicines, there are considerable risks involved if a medication is used inappropriately, without a prescription and without clinical supervision.
MOH works closely with healthcare institutions (HCIs) and drug companies to monitor local and international usage patterns to minimize potential disruption to treatment and to ensure drug resiliency.