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How Wealthy Indians Are Buying Ozempic, Other Weight-loss Drugs From Gray Market

by Daisy

The increasing demand for weight-loss drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy among wealthy Indians has led to a surge in the gray market for these medications. Due to global supply shortages, these drugs are not yet available in India, prompting individuals to seek alternative ways to procure them.

Some of the methods employed include stashing injectables in carry-on luggage, purchasing counterfeit formulas online, and importing drugs from Europe. The gray market sales highlight the significant demand for these medications and raise concerns about potential health risks associated with counterfeit or unregulated products.

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In India, the interest in these drugs has been fueled by media coverage, with the anti-obesity medication market expected to reach $100 billion by 2030 according to Goldman Sachs Research. However, Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of Ozempic and Wegovy, has no immediate plans to launch Ozempic in India, although efforts are being made to make Wegovy available.

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Despite the challenges, individuals are finding ways to access these medications. Some patients are importing injectables through pharmaceutical distributors, while others are turning to alternatives like chemists and drug importers offering weight-loss injectables on online platforms. Additionally, alternatives to Wegovy, such as Fitaro from Bangladesh, are gaining popularity among Indian buyers.

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The availability of injectables in India is expected to improve in the coming years, with Eli Lilly planning to launch Mounjaro next year. Generic versions of weight-loss drugs are also expected to become available as patents expire, offering more options for individuals seeking effective weight-loss treatments.

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