Compounding Pharmacies and Semaglutide

With the rise of semaglutide, originally patented and packaged as Ozempic® for type 2 diabetes, a new wave of weight loss treatments has begun. Semaglutide helps to slow the emptying of the stomach, as well as suppress hunger, the combination of which allows the user to avoid overeating and therefore lose weight consistently. Practitioners implement this as a solution for their weight management programs, giving patients this effective and safe option.

However, due to its increasing popularity, semaglutide is on the FDA’s drug shortage list. With this in mind, compounding pharmacies are now preparing compounded versions of semaglutide. Doctors are using compounded semaglutide in their weight management programs to great success, suggesting that, as required by law, they are the same active ingredient found in the name brand drug.


What are Compounding Pharmacies?

Compounding pharmacies offer personalized medications. Retail or hospital pharmacies, also known as community pharmacies, sell medicines made and distributed by manufacturers. These community pharmacies may not provide all the specific combinations required for certain patients, particularly if their requirements necessitate a specialized environment or allergen-free solution to ensure safety.

There are differences in the labeling of compound and traditional drugs as well. Compounded medicine labels do not adhere to a format similar to that of FDA-approved drugs. But compounded pharmacies are still under the regulatory oversight of state Boards of Pharmacy and the FDA.


Semaglutide Base vs Salt

Because NovoNordisk, the maker of Ozempic® and Wegovy® are unable able to make enough of the name brand drug, they are attempting to limit the ability of compounding pharmacies to alleviate the shortage. But per the FDA, if a medication is on the shortage list, the FDA allows and encourages compounding pharmacies to fill the void.

One attempt to limit the production of semaglutide by compounding pharmacies is by suing pharmacies that use a different version of semaglutide, the semaglutide salt. The name brand drug is a semaglutide base and per the FDA, the duplicate offered by compounding pharmacies but truly be a duplicate, ie the base.

Even though the sodium ion separates from semaglutide in solution, thus converting the semaglutide salt to a base, it’s not originally in its base form, even if the medication works the same. However, compounding pharmacies are using the semaglutide base from FDA-approved manufacturers so this was not and still, is not a widespread issue. Reputable providers, ie providers utilizing the BuildMyHealth platform, are connected to compounding pharmacies that 1) only offer the semaglutide base, 2) have a license in the state where the medication is being distributed and 3) obtain their medication from an FDA-approved manufacturer.


Advice for Practitioners with Weight Management Programs

For those that are advertising semaglutide in their weight management programs, or those that are looking to start weight management programs at their practice, it is increasingly important to ensure that only semaglutide in its base form is utilized. Additionally, do not use the Ozempic® or Wegovy® brand name in your advertising when promoting semaglutide from a compounding pharmacy since that is trademark infringement.


Starting Weight Management Programs Correctly

Weight management is a thriving industry, projected to reach a market value of billions of dollars worldwide soon. By implementing a weight management program, you can establish a solid presence in this rapidly expanding market and meet the increasing need for efficient weight management solutions. Take advantage of the current health and wellness trend by providing customers with a dependable and reputable program that can assist them in attaining their weight loss objectives.

Our weight management program is supported by thorough research, expertise, and a proven track record of success. By obtaining a license for our technology, you will have the opportunity to access a comprehensive and well-rounded program that has already proven its efficacy in assisting individuals in attaining sustainable weight loss.
Instead of incurring the expense and dedicating time to create your own weight management solution, you can utilize our established program to promptly deliver value to your customers.

We also have the capability to connect you to our extensive network of compounding pharmacies throughout the country that have access to semaglutide, tirzepatide, and liraglutide.

Let BuildMyHealth do the work for you. Then, you can reap the benefits by providing an effective solution to your patient base, helping your practice be more effective in the process.

To find a provider near you with these medications, please visit and if you are a provider looking to implement a weight management program into your practice, request an account here.


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