Ozempic and Mounjaro replica warning

by | May 10, 2024 | Diabetes, Medicine, Weight loss

Warning: Mounjaro and Ozempic compounding pharmacy scam!  

At Chemist2U, we are making medication easy. Amongst other things, this means keeping you informed about any possible red flags regarding the medication and pharmacy world. Our radar went off when we came across some information about an Ozempic and Mounjaro scam.  

What you need to know

  • An investigation by ABC’s Four Corners has uncovered an illegal operation based in south-west Sydney, Australia, distributing counterfeit versions of Ozempic and Mounjaro worldwide.   
  • The scheme involves a pharmacist, who, despite being restricted from compounding drugs, managed to mass-produce and sell replicas of these medications, exploiting the global shortage and high demand.  
  • The counterfeit drugs, distinguishable by their red liquid form, were marketed directly to medical practices, bypassing legal requirements for prescriptions and oversight by regulatory bodies.   
  • The ingredients contained in the viles are not fully known. Patients who used these replicas reported adverse effects, including serious health issues leading to hospitalisations.  

    Send me the discount code for FREE delivery

    What happened? 

    In a recent in-depth investigation by Four Corners, an alarming scenario has been uncovered involving the illegal shipment and distribution of replica weight-loss drugs, specifically mimicking popular medications Ozempic and Mounjaro. These activities were traced back to a seemingly inconspicuous house on the outskirts of Sydney, revealing a sophisticated network of fake pharmacies led by one individual. 

    The investigation began with the purchase of a suspicious red vial, ordered without a prescription, paid through PayPal, and picked up at a local post office. This vial, marketed as a breakthrough weight-loss solution, was one of many being shipped globally, exploiting desperate consumers during a time of significant shortages in legitimate weight-loss medications. 

    Dr. Michael Fox, a general practitioner from a small Tasmanian town, initially disregarded the persistent faxes from the compounding pharmacy behind these shipments. However, compelled by shortages of brand-name drugs and aggressive advertising, he and his colleagues eventually directed dozens of patients to this source. While some patients experienced significant weight loss, serious side effects soon surfaced, including peripheral neuropathy and severe gastrointestinal issues. Investigations revealed that these compounded drugs contained unlisted and dangerously high levels of vitamin B6, prompting medical advisories and a halt in their use. 

    The source of these drugs, Total Compounding Pharmaceuticals (TCP), utilised sophisticated marketing tactics and obscured contact details to evade detection. Pharmacists like Adam Reinhard have mistakenly been associated with TCP due to similar business initials, leading to confusion and frustration among consumers who received substandard or harmful products. 

    The regulatory oversight by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) was called into question as they do not typically monitor compounded medications. This loophole has allowed the proliferation of unregulated and potentially dangerous products on the market, posing significant health risks. 

    The narrative took a global turn when complaints from U.S. customers highlighted the international reach of TCP, with reports of ineffective and unsafe products. Further investigation linked these activities to Emad Azzer, a pharmacist in Sydney with a history of regulatory issues. Despite a restricted license, Azzer’s operation went undetected for years, underscoring the challenges in policing the shadowy world of unregulated pharmaceutical compounding. 

    The TGA’s response  

    In response to the mounting evidence and after the story broke, the TGA took swift action, raiding Azzer’s residence and seizing materials linked to the operation. This has sparked a broader discussion about the regulation of compounding pharmacies, particularly those producing replica weight-loss medications. 

    The TGA has since moved towards stricter regulations, proposing a ban on compounding pharmacies from making any weight loss drugs to protect consumers. This shift reflects a growing acknowledgment of the risks these unregulated drugs pose to public health and the necessity for more stringent oversight. 

    For more information, you can read this ABC News article “The hunt for the Australian ‘cowboy’ pharmacist behind a replica Ozempic and Mounjaro scam” published on April 1st, 2024.  

    A message from Chemist2U 

    We recommend that you keep an eye out for counterfeit drugs and always ensure you know where your medication comes from.  

    This investigation serves as a crucial reminder of the dangers associated with unregulated medical products and the importance of regulatory bodies in ensuring the safety and efficacy of pharmaceuticals. Consumers are urged to remain vigilant, always verify the sources of their medications, and consult healthcare professionals before starting any new treatment. 

    For anyone concerned about similar issues or in possession of suspicious medications, it’s advised to contact regulatory authorities to report and prevent potential harm. The ongoing efforts by the TGA and other bodies highlight the complex balance between innovation in pharmacy and the paramount need to safeguard public health. 

    We want to assure you that Chemist2U’s Ozempic or Mounjaro comes directly from accredited pharmacists who source their supply from the official manufacturers: Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly & Co, respectively.  

    Chemist2U has trusted Ozempic and Mounjaro available to order. Click here to upload your script. 

    References

    The hunt for the Australian “cowboy” pharmacist behind a replica Ozempic and Mounjaro scam – ABC News. (2024, March 31). ABC News. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-04-01/cowboy-pharmacist-behind-a-replica-ozempic-and-mounjaro-scam/103644794?utm_source=abc_news_app&utm_medium=content_shared&utm_campaign=abc_news_app&utm_content=link 

    name last name
    Medically reviewed by Dr Matt Cullen
    MBBS, FRANZCP

    Latest articles

    Benefits of eScripts

    What is an eScript?  An eScript, or electronic prescription, is a digital version of a traditional paper prescription. Instead of receiving a physical paper from your doctor, eScripts are sent to you via SMS or email. eScripts not only reduces the paper trail but also...

    Ozempic compounding pharmacies

    Navigating the risk of Ozempic compounding pharmacies: a critical update At Chemist2U, we are making medication easy. Amongst other things, this means keeping you informed about any possible red flags in the medication and pharmacy world.  The increasing popularity of...

    The role of medication in managing your mental health

    Navigating the world of mental health can sometimes feel overwhelming, but understanding the role of medications in managing mental health conditions is a crucial step towards recovery and wellness. Medications, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood...

    Mounjaro Stock Update

    Mounjaro Stock Availability   As you may know, there's been a bit of a hiccup with Mounjaro stock availability lately, and we understand how frustrating it can be to wait for your medication.   At Chemist2U, we're here to make medication easy. That's why we're keeping...

    Ozempic Stock Update

    Chemist2U has had stock of Ozempic 1.5mL and Ozempic 3mL available since 1st May 2024, even though there has been a shortage of Ozempic supply for a while. The manufacturer has been unable to meet the higher-than-expected demand with their current manufacturing...

    Have a question about your medication?

    Blonde Pharmacist smiling photo

    Download the app

    Chemist2U app mockup