Semaglutide for the People

Ozempic has been hailed as a miracle drug. It is the most well known of the GLP-1 medications, a class of drugs that can help regulate appetite, digestion, and blood sugar—and help those suffering from obesity or diabetes lose weight. Naturally, these drugs are very much in demand. But now there is a shortage of Ozempic and other GLP-1s, which has led to a swell of clones that purport to offer the same benefits and the same key ingredient, semaglutide, at lower prices. These clone drugs are easy to procure from telehealth providers, even if a buyer needs to lie about themselves a little bit to buy them.

In this brave new weight-loss world, we're still coming to grips with how these drugs fit into our society. Part of that journey is the continued study about how GLP-1 drugs work—much of how they affect us is still unknown—and the continued debate about how much we should regulate and control their use.

This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED writers Kate Knibbs and Emily Mullin about how GLP-1 medications like Ozempic work and what happens when they don’t. We also talk about the current drug shortage and how that may get resolved.

Show Notes:

Read Kate’s story about buying cloned Ozempic online. Read Emily’s story about how Ozempic doesn’t work for everyone. Read all the stories in WIRED’s The Age of Ozempic series.

Recommendations:

Emily recommends staying cool this summer however you can. Kate recommends the HBO series John Adams, starring Paul Giamatti. Mike recommends buying a used 35-mm film camera and shooting some rolls to flex your creativity.


Kate Knibbs can be found on social media @Knibbs. Emily Mullin is @emilylmullin. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.


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