One Injection at A Time

An Ozempic Story
Photo of pill bottle/apple/measuring tape alongside headline/byline
Photo of pill bottle/apple/measuring tape alongside headline/byline

Diabetes is a chronic health condition characterized by elevated levels of sugar inside the blood. This sugar is known as glucose, and it is the main source of energy for our bodies’ cells.

Our pancreas produces a hormone that helps to regulate the amount of glucose in our bloodstream. It is known as insulin.

Diabetes comes in several types. However, only two are common, types 1 and 2.

Type 1 Diabetes is defined as a war against our bodies’ immune system and the insulin-producing beta cells in our pancreas. Our immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells in our pancreas.

Story continues below advertisement

Therefore, leaving the body with hardly any insulin. This leads to high levels of glucose in the bloodstream.

As a result, those with type 1 diabetes must take insulin medication every day for the rest of their lives in order to regulate their sugar levels.

Type 2 diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance. In other words, when the body has trouble using insulin properly.

It could be because our body’s cells become less receptive to insulin, the pancreas reduces the production of insulin, or both.

Though both are common, type 2 diabetes is the most common among the population, which accounts for about 90% of cases among adults.

In the United States, about 34.2 million people, or about 10.5% of the population had diabetes as of 2020.

Diabetes is common in those who have obesity, unhealthy eating habits, inactive lifestyles, and the elderly.

For those with diabetes, insulin medication is a must-have in order to survive. However, in the United States, the price of insulin is the highest in the world.

With prices ranging from $50 to $300 on average, those without healthcare insurance oftentimes cannot afford a regulated insulin regimen. As a result, these people pass away.

During the early 2000s, a pharmaceutical company based in Denmark began clinical trials on the newly discovered semaglutide (Ozempic).

Ozempic demonstrated how safe and effective it was during the trials and was approved for medical use in the United States in 2017.

Ozempic is a prescription medication used to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes. It is administered once a week in the of an injection.

Ozempic works by imitating the action of the glucagon hormone; helping the body produce more insulin when sugar levels are high, reducing the amount of glucose.

Ozempic also helps by slowing down digestion and helping with weight loss. This has led to an influx of prescriptions for Ozempic by celebrities and common citizens too.

This influx has made doctors concerned because it is being prescribed for the wrong reason: weight loss. Dr. Anne Peters, an endocrinologist at Keck Medicine said, “I’m in favor of these drugs when used correctly.”

However, there are also doctors in the U.S. who believe that Ozempic should and can be used for another epidemic: obesity. “Obesity is an epidemic. Many people are obese and overweight in the United States. That causes all sorts of problems. So, if we can get them to lose weight easily and simply, why not,” said Dr. Alyssa Dominguez, an endocrinologist at Duke University Hospital.

The issue with Ozempic prescriptions for those without diabetes is that the medication could go out of stock for those with diabetes. Thus, putting them at risk of dying.

10th grader, Sabrina Tran said, “I think that if a person with weight issues has no other choice, then it’s a good thing to take Ozempic. But the people with diabetes should get first dibs on it.”

Those who are looking to lose weight using medication can try Lorcaserin or Orlistat. These medications help people to lose weight by cutting their appetite in order to stop the intake of calories.

Typically, both medications cost about $100 to $300 a month for those without medical insurance.

The Ozempic rush calls for the question: should diabetic patients be the priority when it comes to Ozempic prescriptions?

Leave a Comment
Donate to Colt Chronicle
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Coral Springs High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Colt Chronicle
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All Colt Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *