When will Ozempic be back in stock in Australia? 

by | Diet and Weightloss, Diet and Weightloss - News

Whether you’ve been prescribed Ozempic for type 2 diabetes or weight loss, you might be struggling to get your hands on your weekly injection. Here’s the latest update on the Ozempic shortage.

If you’re one of the thousands of Australians who have been prescribed the injectable medicine Ozempic, you may be wondering where your next weekly dose is going to come from. Yes, the Ozempic shortage is real and so are the frustrations.  

How will I know when Ozempic is available?

If you’ve gone to get your script filled at the local pharmacy, you might have been told Ozempic is “short”. That’s pharmacist speak for unavailable and refers to a shortage of the medication. 

While medication shortages are not uncommon, the Ozempic situation is a global issue that’s equally challenging for patients, pharmacists and doctors. It’s such a big deal Australia’s medicines regulator the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) recently reported the supply issues of 2022 and 2023 will continue throughout 2024 as well.1-2

Why is Ozempic out of stock? 

The Ozempic shortage is due to a combination of factors. Firstly, increased demand. 

No, you’re not imagining it, more people are using Ozempic than ever.1 Originally designed to help people with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar, Ozempic is the brand name for a medicine called semaglutide.3-4 When used consistently, weekly use of semaglutide is associated with weight loss.5,7 While this was already known from Ozempic’s clinical trials and scientific studies, the results took on a life of their own out in the real world once doctors began prescribing it “off-label” for people with obesity rather than for people with type 2 diabetes.1,5-7  

This has created a global surge in demand that manufacturers Novo Nordisk, a Danish pharmaceutical company, has been unable to meet.1-2,6 In addition to growing interest in the drug due to rising rates of type 2 diabetes and obesity, semaglutide is also a complicated medicine to manufacture.1

In response to questions about why it can’t be manufactured in Australia, the TGA explained, “making semaglutide involves a complex process using specialised equipment in a unique manufacturing setting”.1

What is the TGA doing about the lack of Ozempic supply? 

Semaglutide supply constraints are such a huge issue the TGA has asked Australian prescribers not to start new patients on Ozempic unless it’s absolutely essential for type 2 diabetes management.1,5 It has also requested GPs and other prescribers to recall patients who have been using it “off-label” for weight loss to discuss alternatives so any limited supply can be prioritised for people who need it for diabetes treatment.1,5

The TGA has also listed Ozempic on its Medicine shortage reports database with a predicted date of 31 December 2024 before any change is likely to occur in its “limited availability” due to “unexpected increase in consumer demand.”2

How can I find a pharmacy with Ozempic in stock?

If you’re using Ozempic for type 2 diabetes, we hear it’s easier to get your script filled if you’re a regular at a particular community pharmacy rather than trying your luck by ringing around or going store to store. Ask the pharmacy staff if it’s possible to be put on a wait list but do remember, they can only do so much until the manufacturer is able to supply enough stock to meet demand.

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What should I do if I can’t get Ozempic? 

If you’re already taking Ozempic, it’s important to talk to your doctor about the ongoing shortage and how it may affect your health.1,5

Let your doctor know as soon as you realise you won’t be able to take your next weekly dose. This is particularly vital if you’re prescribed Ozempic to help control type 2 diabetes because it gives your doctor the chance to change your therapy to another medication that is available so you can keep tight control of blood glucose levels.5 That way you can hopefully avoid disease progression and complications.

If you’re using Ozempic for weight loss, it’s safest to let your doctor know as soon as you discover you won’t be able to take your next dose. This gives your doctor the chance to work with you to come up with a plan to get you through the medication shortage. Strategies may involve your doctor switching you to other medications or in some cases, delaying treatment if it’s safe to do so.  As always, it’s worth talking about your medicines concerns with both your GP and pharmacist.

Further reading on the Ozempic shortage

About the Ozempic (semaglutide) shortage 2022 and 2023


1.     Therapeutic Goods Administration. About the Ozempic (semaglutide) shortage 2022 and 2023. September 21, 2023. Accessed November 11, 2023. https://www.tga.gov.au/safety/shortages/information-about-major-medicine-shortages/about-ozempic-semaglutide-shortage-2022-and-2023

2.     Therapeutic Goods Administration. Semaglutide – medicine shortage information. [nd]. Accessed November 11, 2023. https://apps.tga.gov.au/Prod/msi/Search/Details/semaglutide

3.     Novo Nordisk. Ozempic. [nd]. Accessed November 13, 2023. https://www.ozempic.com

4.     Semaglutide. Australian Medicines Handbook. July, 2022. Accessed November 14, 2023. https://amhonline-amh-net-au.eu1.proxy.openathens.net/chapters/endocrine-drugs/drugs-diabetes/glucagon-like-peptide-1-analogues/semaglutide#semaglutide-dosage

5.     Rubino D, Abrahamsson N, Davies M, et al. Effect of continued weekly subcutaneous semaglutide vs placebo on weight loss maintenance in adults with overweight or obesity. JAMA. 2021;325:1414. Accessed November 13, 2023. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33755728/

6.     Dorrigan A. Do not initiate new patients on semaglutide: TGA. News GP. September 25, 2023. Accessed November 13, 2023. https://www1.racgp.org.au/newsgp/clinical/do-not-initiate-new-patients-on-semaglutide-tga

7.     Phillips A, Clements J. Clinical review of subcutaneous semaglutide for obesity. J Clin Pharm Ther.2022;47;2:184–93. doi:10.1111/jcpt.13574

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