The way into the spotlight was via Tiktok. At some point the first videos appeared in which happy people talked about a miracle: they had small injections placed under their skin and their fat deposits had melted away. It was the beginning of a huge hype. Ozempic first became famous, an injection approved in 2017 that was actually not intended for weight loss, but for diabetics. Then from 2021 Wegovy, which contained the same active ingredient in even higher doses – and this time was actually aimed at overweight people. Soon hashtags like…

Celebrities were also willing to confess: Elon Musk, for example, tweeted in October 2022 that he was staying slim through “fasting and exercise”. Other stars defended themselves against any insinuation, most notably Kim Kardashian, who allegedly received Ozempic injections to help her fit into Marilyn Monroe’s dress for the New York Met Gala. In March of this year, Ozempic even made it to the Oscar stage. Host Jimmy Kimmel joked to the audience at the awards ceremony: “Everyone looks so great. When I look around this room, I can’t help but ask myself, ‘Is Ozempic right for me?'” Best-selling author Cat Marnell explained in ” Wall Street Journal,” Ozempic is now the topic of conversation “at dinner in the Hamptons.” In Los Angeles, Miami, New York City – everywhere people talk about the “weight loss injection”.

That works. Ozempic and Wegovy are giving their Danish manufacturer Novo Nordisk astronomical profits – and worrying the competition. Providers of diets and protein shakes are losing profits. In contrast, the Weight Watchers empire’s stock price has been rising since it began offering a program that includes access to doctors and prescription shots.

Ozempic and Wegovy have also long since arrived in Germany. The marketing may be less flashy than in the USA, the hype about getting rid of fat isn’t quite as loud – but here too, many people apparently want to try out the sensational “weight loss injection”. Fake prescriptions have already appeared in pharmacies, and the Freiburg regional council warned about counterfeit Ozempic pens with unclear contents that are in circulation and “should under no circumstances be used”. In Austria, several people recently ended up in hospital after allegedly injecting themselves with counterfeit Ozempic.

Unlike in the USA, however, the vast majority of interested parties in this country seem to ask doctors about the injections. They belong to the official target group – and it is huge: overweight and obesity affect the health of millions, and the resulting ailments cause double-digit, and in America even triple-digit billion, costs. More than half of the men and women in Germany are too fat, and 19 percent of all adults are even obese, meaning they have a body mass index of 30 or more. Can their bellies just be injected away?

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