Major Ozempic shortage in Belgium, company warns doctors: “Problems until the end of this year” | Domestic

There is a major shortage of Ozempic in our country. Different versions of the medicine will not be available anywhere in the coming weeks and months. Producer Novo Nordisk has informed all doctors in Belgium of this. “Our production cannot keep up with demand.” The medicine is actually intended for diabetes patients, but is widely used to lose weight.

LOOK. Explained in 60 seconds. What is Ozempic?

“Dear Doctor, we would like to inform you of an important update.” For example, the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk starts an email containing bad news for the more than one million diabetes patients in our country. No fewer than three of the manufacturer’s products will be temporarily unavailable in the coming weeks and months. These are Ozempic, Victoza and Rybelsus.

Unavailable until December

Ozempic – which must be administered by injection – has had limited availability since the beginning of this year, but the situation has now become even more dire. The heaviest dose (1 mg) will no longer be available until the end of December. For the time being, there are only ‘temporary’ and ‘short-term’ shortages for the other two doses. Victoza, a derivative of Ozempic, will disappear from the Belgian market for an ‘indefinite period’ and with Rybelsus (a derivative version in pill form) there would be temporary, short-term shortages.

We are doing our utmost to resolve the problem. Our production runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week

Elke De Blay, spokesperson for Novo Nordisk Belgium

“Production is currently having difficulty keeping up with global demand,” confirms spokesperson Elke De Blay. “We are doing our utmost. Our production runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” The company is expanding production lines and building new factories. “But that takes some time. In the meantime, we try to keep the inconvenience for patients as limited as possible.”

Victoza - a derivative of Ozempic - will also be taken off the market in Belgium for an indefinite period.
Victoza – a derivative of Ozempic – will also be taken off the market in Belgium for an indefinite period. © REUTERS

The fact that the demand is so high has everything to do with the fact that you can also lose weight with products such as Ozempic, Victoza and Rybelsus. As a result, it has become extremely popular in a short time. And not just among diabetes patients. Over the past year, many doctors have been confronted with overweight patients who wanted to use the medicine to lose weight, even though they do not have diabetes at all. TV presenter Gert Verhulst recently admitted that he had used Ozempic to lose weight.

Three weeks ago, the FAMHP asked doctors to reserve Ozempic only for diabetics from now on

Because the situation has been threatening to get out of hand for some time, the Federal Medicines Agency (FAGG) distributed a new guideline to all doctors three weeks ago. It states that in the current circumstances she must give priority to diabetes patients. But that guideline appears to be insufficient for the time being.


Due to the shortages, diabetics may have little or no use of Ozempic, Victoza or Rybelsus in the coming weeks and months. In the letter, Novo Nordisk admits that it is aware of the ‘uncertainty’ and ‘concern’ that this causes among patients. “We take this situation very seriously and are working with all parties involved to minimize the impact on them.” The FAMHP previously announced that alternative treatments are still possible. This includes Bydureon from the AstraZeneca company. That medicine is still available in Belgium for the time being.