Semaglutide: Health Hazards

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered am ar 22 Ebrill 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to increase the public's awareness of the side effects that can arise from taking weight loss drugs such as Ozempic.

Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) plays a pivotal role in ensuring the safety, efficacy, and quality of medicines and healthcare products available to patients in the United Kingdom. Patient safety remains the MHRA’s highest priority, and they take every opportunity to encourage reporting of any safety concerns to the Yellow Card scheme, which helps to improve the safe use of medicines and medical devices for everyone.

New medicines including, Mounjaro and Wegovy, are intensively monitored to ensure that any new safety concerns are identified promptly. The Commission on Human Medicines and the MHRA encourages the reporting of all suspected reactions to newer drugs and vaccines, which are denoted by an inverted Black Triangle symbol. This symbol appears next to the name of a relevant product in drug safety updates, the British National Formulary and the Nurse Prescribers’ Formulary, the monthly index of medical specialities, the electronic medicines compendium, and advertising material. Patient information leaflets accompanying licensed medicines in the UK must include a description of the adverse reactions which may occur in normal use of the medicinal product, as well as information on how to report them. All adverse reactions must be reflected in the leaflet, in language that the patient will understand.

The MHRA has received a small number of reports of falsified and unlicenced medicines being sold illegally online as a treatment for weight loss. The agency has issued public health messaging warning of the dangers of buying such medicines from illegal trading sources online.

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