Maybe it’s a bit of both. But shouldn't folks be free to take what they want, at their own risk or benefit? According to Yahoo News, “Ozempic is designed as a treatment for diabetes when other medications have not been able to effectively control a patient’s blood sugar.” But it can be prescribed off-label and is being used for weight loss in some patients, says Jamie Alan, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Michigan State University. “There are concierge online services that give out Ozempic for weight loss,” she says.

There has been lots of solid controversy, and celebrity news about this in recent months. It seems the diabetes management drug has a great side effect (which is rare in the pharma world, given all the oooh-so-bad potential effects normally indicated with popular medications), namely, users typically lose weight when on Ozempic. A simple breakdown is here:

Since this is a legal and approved drug such a benefit has set off much interest in it, or request for prescriptions. This is especially true among celebrities, who can afford the hefty price tag that comes with Ozempic. For while there are other methods or products galore to help with weight loss, from good lifestyle choices to hormone therapy, they come with their own limitations or complications.

Those of us who've been around the world more that a minute, know this whole thing is reminiscent of how Viagra became the rage a generation ago. It was originally reported that the drug was originally tested not for male enhancement, but for improving blood circulation. Meaning, the test subjects were not selected based on having erectile dysfunction. But when they experienced that (ahem) certain side effect, suddenly the therapeutic purpose of Viagra was shifted to being a treatment for "dysfunction"---when it was clear from the testing that the drug enhanced even normal functioning subjects. Some might suggest this was done to get it approved faster and covered under insurance, instead of being in limbo as an effective, but elective medication.

So the syndrome continues. Millions today want a true weight reduction drug as a matter of choice, but big pharma needs a true "medical" rationale to justify putting it on the market. As a compromise, Ozempic fits the bill by existing in a fashion that allows doctors to prescribe it. Many users want it for B, and so they are taking advantage of its availability for A. That is what causes the item to be cause for both hype, and scam talk, depending on the source hawking it or complaining about it.

I say, let freedom reign---make Ozempic accessible for what people really want it for, and let them and their doctor figure out the risks. If insurance won't cover it for "non-medical" uses like weight management, when losing weight is clearly a factor in obtaining optimal wellness, something may be wrong with our health insurance industry. Either way, let the consumer market sort it out.

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This Article Penned by Benjamin Kirby Tennyson