The Nationals leader and Member for Murray Plains, Peter Walsh, is appealing for Health Minister Mary-Ann Thomas to support his demand Canberra urgently intervene in the “frightening shortage” of diabetic drug Ozempic.
Mr Walsh says this next generation option for type 2 diabetics – requiring just one injection a week – is now out of stock in Victoria, and nationally.
And he says even worse, pharmacies in his electorate are reporting supplies may not be back to normal until June next year.
“The biggest problem is the tsunami of non-diabetics demanding prescriptions of the drug for weight loss,” Mr Walsh explains.
“I understand this is a global problem but my job is here in Victoria, so is Minister Thomas’, and the frontline people for whom this drug was developed deserve first go,” he says.
“They should not be taking a back seat to people hoping to lose an average 2.5kg a month by injecting themselves with Ozempic.
“Now everyone who has been relying on this drug to control their diabetes – and it is a dosage you have to build up to over a period of time – has been forced back onto previous medications which may, or may not, be as effective or as easy to use.
“I will be formally writing to the Health Minister, urging her to get straight onto her Labor counterpart in Canberra and do something immediate and positive for Victorians.”
Mr Walsh says he is also urging diabetics and their families to petition the Premier, the Health Minister, and all government MPs to start putting the pressure on Canberra for some urgent response.
He says staff in his office are dealing with numerous calls, having to explain the drug’s control is a Federal responsibility between the government and Therapeutic Goods Authority.
“The TGA’s approved indication for Ozempic is the management of type 2 diabetes not adequately managed by other medications, in conjunction with diet and exercise,” Mr Walsh added.
“Minister Thomas, the time to earn your pay is now – 85 per cent of all Victorian diabetics have type 2 according to your own department’s website and right now they have been left out in the cold,” he says.
“Join me in helping them get the medication they need and they should have – now.”