Part 2 of our series on weight loss drugs takes us deep into the inner workings of Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, who are hell bent on world domination of the lucrative “o*e$ity market”. For years, the entire field of medicine has been professionally fluffed by Novo’s “training programs” and media hype is next level. But who are Novo Nordisk, what are they selling, and can we trust them? Join me and my fierce and fabulous guests Ragen Chastain and Dr Fi Willer as we investigate the science behind the hype, and expose the truth behind their latest ‘blockbuster’ drugs, Saxenda and Wegovy. Do not miss!!!

Show Transcript
Welcome to all fired up. I’m Louise your host and this is the podcast where we talk all things anti diet. Has diet culture got you in a fit of rage is the injustice of the beauty ideal getting your knickers in a twist? Does fitspo make you want to spitspo? Are you ready to hurl if you hear one more weight loss tip? Are you ready to be mad, loud and proud? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s get all fired up. Hello diet culture dropouts, it’s so nice to be with you again and to share with you our climactic second episode on weight loss drugs. We’re about to return to our extremely fired up conversation with the fabulous Ragen Chastain and Dr. Fi Willer where we’re going to be dissecting this current climate of unfettered enthusiasm towards using Diabetes drugs for weight loss. Now, if you already haven’t listened to the first magnificent part of this two part series about the nefarious history of weight loss drugs, please press pause now and go listen to weight loss drugs Part One, tout sweet! because in order to figure out if we can trust yet another big pharma company with our physical and mental health, we need to know what has come before just before we start and a really quick plug here for some free stuff. If you’re struggling to find peace with your body in diet culture, and let’s face it, who isn’t? I love to gift you with my free ecourse befriending your body. It is absolutely free each day for 10 days you’ll get an email from me with activities strategies, tips and self compassion meditations. In my opinion, self compassion skills are absolutely essential. In order to truly experience body liberation and make this anti diet stuff stick. We’re all raised to hate our bodies. Well guess what? This of course is going to disrupt this toxicity and help you become a strong and passionate friend to your body, which is doing its damn best to survive in a fat phobic world. So head to my Insta page under untrapped underscore AU, click on the link in my bio and let yourself immersed in a really wonderful effective and Bestival completely free pushback against diet culture. Okay, I literally can’t wait to bring you today’s show which Heads Up is again very stuffed full of “O” words, detailed discussions about weight loss, a lot of numbers and some pretty confronting conversations about the impact of weight loss drugs so please look after yourself. And if your spoon drawer is a little empty, maybe give this episode a miss. But if your bullshit detector is absolutely going off after part one, and you’re ready to be utterly fired up about Novo Nordisk and its diabetes, weight loss drugs you’re in for a treat. So strap in let’s get going. It’s a wild ride. During today’s episode, we’re going to be talking about Novo Nordisk and their so called weight loss, drug blockbusters. saxenda. And Wegovy, now my nerd brain, it just can’t cope unless we start off by bringing you an overview of the clinical trials on these drugs. So we’re gonna whiz through this before we once again meet our two wonderful guests. Knowledge is power, my darlings. So let’s get our critical thinking caps on and dive into the research. So Novo sell two weight loss drugs, Saxenda, and Wegovy, both of these are basically high doses of a class of diabetes drugs called glucagon like peptide, one agonists or GLP ones, which we’re going to hear about more shortly. Both of these drugs are injections not pills. So Saxenda needs a daily injection and Wegovy’s injections are weekly. Saxenda’s active compound is called liraglutide, which was approved by the FDA as a diabetes drug in 2010 and sold under the name Victoza. saxenda is exactly the same chemical liraglutide as Victoza but it’s a much higher whack. Victoza is maximum dose is 1.8 milligrams, and the saxenda dose is three milligrams saxenda was approved by the FDA as a weight loss drug in 2014. And in Australia in 2015. Wegovy’s active compound is also a GLP one agonist called semaglutide which was approved by the FDA for type two diabetes in 2017 and sold under the brand name ozempic. The weightless version of semaglutide Wegovy was FDA approved in 2021. And in Australia in September 2022. But here in Oz it’s not yet available because of supply issues. More on that later. Similar to saxenda wegovy is basically just a big dose of semaglutide So point five to one milligram is the dose recommended in the ozempic Australian product information PDF, whereas wegovy’s dose is a whopping 2.4 milligrams of semaglutide. So as we know, everyone’s literally gushing about these weight loss drugs. So let’s do a bit of a deep dive and compare and contrast the research studies on saxenda. And wegovy So the major randomized control trial or RCT, on the saxenda was published in 2015 in the New England Journal of Medicine, and this reported the results of a 56 week research trial in the wegovy RCT was also published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2021. And this reported the results of a 68 week trial. So neither of these big research studies are long term. Another red flag is that Novo Nordisk planned and funded both of these trials and Novo employees conducted the statistical analyses provided editorial writing assistance, and of course, Novo gave all the drugs for free. Of course, it’s not unusual for a drug company to run clinical drug trials. But clearly our bullshit detectors need to be twitching when there’s this level of comp company involvement in the research. The next red flag is that in both trials, basically, all of the authors listed have multiple conflicts of interest, ie financially beneficial relationships with Novo Nordisk. So there’s 23 authors listed across the two papers, and there’s only two who didn’t declare a conflict of interest with Novo. So we’ve got a situation where a drug company has planned and paid for a trial. And then the research article is authored by people who are already comfortably nestled in novos cash lined pockets. This is a problem, financially beneficial relationships which boosts the obesity researchers careers, while simultaneously supporting the entire weight loss industry are rife. And there’s a lot of research to show that even if we have a tiny bit of financial conflict is can influence results in a way that’s much more favorable to industry. And here we’re not talking about a little bit of conflict of interest. This is the mother lode so to the papers themselves, both of them confidently lead with a sentence describing obesity as a disease. In spite of the fact that in most countries on the earth, including Australia, larger body size, it’s not considered a disease and the only countries that do classify it this way, such as the USA have only had this happened after incessant lobbying, and countless dollars from the weight loss industry. One weird little detail that I found is that both papers have explainer videos called Quick takes complements of Novo Nordisk no doubt and this is something I have never seen. It makes them seem more like an advertisement than a scientific paper. advertorial is the definite vibe here for both papers. Another weird detail is that this research happened not in one place, but across multiple countries. So the Saxenda trial ran at 226 different sites in 27 countries, and the wegovy trial ran across 129 sites in 16 countries. Why you might ask? Well, what an excellent question. Sadly, it’s not one that I can answer, because neither paper have any details about these sites or about the recruitment process at all. The Saxenda paper points us to a trial protocol, which also had no details. And the Wegovy paper said that the trial design had been previously published, but I went to that previously published paper. And in spite of having a nice infographic, it had no information about these mysterious trial centers or the process of subject recruitment. This is a really important thing to exclude. It’s scientific research methods 101. Like even in high school science class, we’re taught that a scientific papers METHODS section has to describe an experiment in excruciating detail with the underlying reproducibility principle. So someone else reading your paper should be able to exactly replicate your method just from reading this section. And given the deeper level of pharma industry involvement here, we really need to know these details. Where were these trials centers who ran them? How did they get involved with novos clinical trial? How are people recruited to these studies? Where did they get them? Were they just patients rocking up to see their physician or endocrinologist or were Novo Nordisk just tackling women on their way out of Weight Watchers meetings? It’s just so weird. Now, if I’m missing something and this information is out there, I would truly appreciate knowing it. So please let me know and send me an email to But literally, for me, it’s still a mystery. So moving on, the Saxenda study included 3700 mysteriously recruited people, so most people around 2400 were allocated to take saxenda and 1200 were in the placebo group. The wegovy trial had 19 61 People 13 06 took wegovy and 655 on placebo. So as we can see that wegovy the trial was much smaller than the Saxenda one. Now I’ve got thoughts about the fact that the treatment groups were double the size of the placebo group, but it’s really way too statistically technical and boring to go into here. In both of the trials, the majority of the participants were white females in their mid 40s, with an average BMI of 38. I don’t know about you, but this lends credence to my theory of Novo recruiting subjects by tackling women on their way out of Weight Watchers meetings, it’s certainly not a representative spread of humanity. In the Saxenda trial, 61% of the women had raised insulin levels, what they call pre diabetes, and in the wegovy trial, almost half, so 43% had pre diabetes or raised insulin. So this is also important, especially in the saxenda trial, it’s really a study of middle aged white women with a little bit of insulin dysregulation. People were not allowed to take part in the trials if they had diabetes, hypertension, a history of thyroid tumor, or thyroid tumor risk factors. pancreatitis, if they were on medications, which impact body size, if they’d had weight loss surgery, if they used other weight loss drugs in the last three months, and if they had any history of depression or a suicide attempt, it’s very important to know this information because if you’re taking these drugs, you need to know that they’ve only been tested on a narrow range of people. And I for one, I’m definitely hearing of people being put on these drugs who are taking weight impacting medications like anti psychotics, or people being prescribed them after having weight loss surgery, and lots of people taking them who have had depression, so we’re really swimming in the dark here. So what did they do? Participants in the saxenda trial had to inject themselves every day for 56 weeks. And in the wegovy, they had weekly injections for 68 weeks. But that’s not all. They were all also dieting. So they all had to reduce their daily energy intake to 500 kilo calories below their actual requirements, and to do at least 150 minutes of exercise every week. Plus, they received individual counseling sessions every four weeks to make them stick to these diets. So really important, these are not just miracle weight loss drugs. These are very carefully controlled short term trials in which people are also dieting. So what happened? Well, in the saxenda trial, more than half the participants dropped out, including 700 from the saxenda group. More than a third of these dropouts were because of people suffering what they call adverse events, aka the side effects are horrible. There were fewer but still substantial dropouts in the wegovy trial. So 17% didn’t do the 68 week weigh in. And the paper mentions that around, nearly one in five people did not adhere to treatment, so they weren’t able to take the injections. The double dose of diabetes drugs, of course resulted in major side effects in both studies 80% of the saxenda group and 90% of the wegovy group had side effects. The most common of these were nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, indigestion and abdominal pain. About 6% of this saxenda group and almost 10% of the wegovy group had serious adverse events. These included serious gastrointestinal issues, gall stones, and pancreatitis. pancreatitis can lead to pancreatic cancer, which is a particularly deadly type of cancer very serious. Unsurprisingly, the trials reported a positive impact on measures like insulin and blood glucose. Given that this is a diabetes Med, it’s perhaps not surprising, reduced blood pressure was reported in both trials. But so was the average resting pulse rate which was increased in both groups. So by two and a half beats a minute in in the Saxenda group, and three and a half beats per minute in the wegovy group. Pancreatitis markers, so lipase and amylase were increased in both the Saxenda and wegovy group. So what happened with weight loss in the Saxenda trial? Well, the people who were left they lost an average of 8% of their weight, so about 8.4 kilos at week 56 And the placebo group lost an average of 2.6% of their body weight. So in reality what that meant is that the saxenda group lost five and a half kilos more than the people who just dieted. This only just scraped through the minimum weight loss standard to register as a weight loss drug where companies have to show that their drugs produce more than a 5% weight loss compared to placebo, in order to put it on the market, about one in three people in this saxenda group didn’t even lose 5% of their weight. So please remember this, especially if you’re taking it and wondering what you’re doing wrong. Because this is if this is even happening in the clinical trial, it’s not your fault, really, in terms of weight loss saxenda is a lot of effort to have very little payoff. So in the wegovy trial, they did find a much higher average weight loss of about 15 kilos, so about twice the amount of saxenda ended up 86% lost at least 5% of their body weight 69% got 10% weight loss 50% got 15% weight loss and 34% got 20% weight loss by week 68. In the graphs, you can really see that by week 60, the weight loss had slowed down and was looking very likely to start going back up again. Of course, at this point the study was stopped because this is how weight loss research rolls. Because these advertorial like Papers only report very broad statistics like percentage weight loss. It’s hard to get a sense of what actually happened to people in these groups. So a question like was there lots of outliers? Like were there some people who had unusual experiences like a particularly high rate of weight loss? And could this have potentially skewed the results? There are some Inklings that there were outliers. So there were seven people in the wegovy group who received what they called rescue interventions. This meant that two people had bariatric surgery, and five of them also got different weight loss drugs. Now, we don’t know why these people need to be rescued. And it’s not mentioned if they were then removed from the statistical analysis, which they absolutely should have paid. And in the saxenda trial, 10 women taking the drug were diagnosed with breast cancer compared to three in the placebo group. And many of the poor women in this category had quite significant weight losses, like 30% 12% 10%. Now we know sudden, rapid weight loss often happens when people get cancer. And I’m thinking were these women’s weight losses counted in the overall saxenda weight loss data? Because if so, that’s dodgy. And it’s actually impossible to work out because the paper doesn’t tell us that they removed them from the analysis, weight regain. So weight regain happened as soon as people went off the drug. This is not reported in the main saxenda paper. But in the supplement, it does show that people who switched from saxenda to placebo were definitely regaining weight. And even people who stayed on saxenda for another three months were beginning to put weight back on even though they were still taking the drug. So the average weight increase was 0.7%. So please, again, especially for saxenda, if you’re on this drug, and you’re feeling bad about your weight loss, you’re not doing anything wrong. It’s just that this drug really isn’t the bee’s knees. On the topic of weight regain buried in a much less prestigious journal, and with notably much less press coverage. A follow up paper from the wegovy trial was printed in April 2022. And this study followed a small group of 327 people who were in the original trial, and they followed them for a year after they stopped taking wegovy. And they found that people regained two thirds of the weight that they had lost. So on average, people went from a starting weight of 105 kilos, down to 87 and a half kilos at week 68. And then back up to 99 kilos at week 120. That is weight cycling my friends. And that is one hell of an effort to put in all for a lousy six kilos at the end of the day. I also found that the steepest rate of weight regain after stopping Wegovy happened to those who had initially lost the most. So those in that category of losing 20% or more of weight, which, as we recall, was about one in three people. So those people are regaining even more quickly than the others. weight cycling is very bad for health, and it’s associated with a higher risk of death and an increase in cardio metabolic risk factors, ie the very things that weight loss is meant to cure. This is not surprising, as we know that weight loss efforts trigger a massive physiological shitstorm in which the body does everything it can to restore the lost weight, including slowing down our metabolism, increasing our appetite, dropping our leptin levels and extracting more calories from the food we eat. It’s called the Nike tick of weight regain, and it’s a normal physical response to starvation and something which these researchers know all about. So we know people are regaining weight and that this is likely to continue even after week 120 Even though the researchers clearly like to pretend that everything stops here, instead of a responsible discussion about the ethics of weight loss medications, which basically give people even bigger weight cycling experiences, the researchers conclude the people need to stay on these expensive drugs forever. This is of course the magic golden ticket that the pharma industry wants an expensive treatment which people need to keep on buying. This study, lead even the gutter press Daily Mail to run a headline “is fat loss drug wegovy big pharma’s latest con”, the lack of consideration for making people undertake such intense weight cycling without any care of what happens afterwards. It really gets my blood boiling. They knew this would happen. But there’s no cure for a slowed metabolism. People either have to enslave themselves in a lifelong expense at us 1600 a month, over 25 years. That’s $480,000. Who on earth has this? Elon Musk maybe? Yes, Elon is one of the celebs taking it. Oh my God, I don’t even think people are very aware that they would need to stay on this drug forever. Two women who were mentioned in The Daily Mail article, both said that they’d had some success with the drug. But they were planning to stop taking it when they reached their goal weight. And I’ve been a lurker in a GLP one support group on Facebook, which is crammed with women hoping to hit their goal weight and then go off it because the side effects are so bad. The researchers in this follow up wegovy paper made a number of claims about cardio metabolic health, which I found very annoying, but they’re good examples of how weight centric research justifies its own poor results and uphold stereotypes about larger bodied people. For example, they said that the study showed improvement in HBA1C which is a diabetes measure. But when you check the numbers, the change went from 5.7 at the beginning of the study, and this is the lowest threshold for diagnosis and pre diabetes to 5.6 A year after they’d stopped taking it. This is a difference of 0.1. It’s hardly anything to gush about. They also claim improvements in cholesterol, triglycerides and inflammation markers. But cheekily, they don’t mention that all of these measures were in the normal range at the start of the experiment, and they stayed in the normal range throughout. It is so utterly unethical to claim improvement in cardio metabolic risk factors when there’s nothing wrong in the first place. These researchers are clearly relying on stereotypes of larger bodied people. The Readers, of course, will assume that the people must have had problems in this area. But they did not it’s enraging to think that they’re so fat phobic that they can exclude the basic facts like these people were metabolically fine before they started wegovy, fat phobic research does it again. So that’s the basics for these trials. We’ve got some short term industry funded research advertorials, which showed us nothing special in terms of weight loss for saxenda, huge side effects of both drugs, higher rates of weight loss for wegovy, but massive impacts in terms of weight cycling, oh, and very marginal to actually meaningless health improvements. But as we know the hype has been next level. The obesity researchers and physicians are creaming their pants over them, and the media is lapping it up. A 2021 Press Release quoted one of the NoVo funded wegovy be trial authors, Rachel Batterham who gushed that “no other drug has come close to producing this level of weight loss”. Oh, but obesity, Inc how quickly you forget, we have indeed encountered a drug which produced astonishing weight loss, good old fen Phen which as we recall, had a 16% average weight loss compared to wegovy’s 15% weight loss. Of course, wegovy’s much touted 20% weight loss for one in three subjects is new, but we really need to think and consider that joining the fen Phen gang isn’t necessarily all it’s cracked up to be. And as we saw in part one, once word got out the entire planet went on a fen Phen Bender fueled by the wild prescribing habits of money hungry physicians, and it ended terribly. But here it seems we are again poised on the precipice of fen Phen 2.0 Another prematurely ejaculated money spinner. And this time we have the immense power of big pharma money running a multifaceted global marketing campaign. We’re in unprecedented times, and I for one, feel a little bit sick about it. So thanks for bearing with me through our intro to novos wonder drug. Let’s go back to my wonderful conversation with Dr. fee and Ragen and get seriously fired up. And now enter Novo Nordisk making a bet on obesity. So if you’ve listened to some previous episodes on all fired up “inside the obesity collective” and “obesity, Australia if you’re listening”, you would have heard me and Mandy Lee raging about the nefarious tentacles of this global octopus, the pharmaceutical company from Denmark Novo Nordisk And we’re going to take a deep dive now because Novo Nordisk are emerging as this kind of great superpower in weight loss drugs 2.0. So who are they? What are they selling? And can we trust them? So Novo Nordisk pharma company who built their fortune on insulin, which was a discovery made back in the 1920s by Canadian scientists, William Banting and his colleagues and they believed that insulin should be cheaply available to as many people as possible in the hope of curing and managing diabetes. And so in line with this really wonderful belief they sold the patent for insulin to the University of Toronto for just $1. In 1923, a Danish scientist Auguste Krogh obtained the rights to manufacture insulin in Europe, and he set up the company that would later become Novo Nordisk. And literally since then, Novo has been steadily ruining Banting’s legacy by driving up the cost of insulin. And now far from being a really cheaply available drug for all insulin has become like literally the poster child for what journalists have called a license to print money. In the United States. Insulin is dominated by just three companies, Novo Nordisk Eli, Lilly and Sanofi, and they produce 90% of the country’s supply, and they take complete advantage of the US is a very complex and pretty unregulated drug market. The USA represents just 15% of the global insulin market, but it generates almost half of the pharmaceutical industry’s insulin money. American insulin prices are more than eight times higher than in 32, comparable nation’s combined, American Diabetes patients have been bearing the brunt of this massive corporate cash grab for years. And they’re taking Desperate Measures like people under dosing skipping doses, just because it’s so extortionate to buy their drugs. And the situation has come to the attention of politicians. So by 2016, the big three insulin companies had generated a bit of a shitstorm of attention. The cash cow situation was so bad that politicians from both sides of the fence including Bernie Sanders, and even Donald Trump, were accusing them of price fixing. So in 2019, Novo were forced to testify at the House Energy and Commerce oversight subcommittee, where they were trying really feebly to insist that their massive price hikes were because they needed to fund research and development, but people were calling bullshit on this. And the report found that actually, they’re supposed research spending is actually being used to extend market monopolies support the company’s marketing strategies and suppress competition. And this report I read through and it’s got some real pearls about Novo Nordisk and the kinds of stuff they’ve been up to. So since they launched Novo log, which is their fast acting insulin, there’s been no real developments in the product itself, but the price has gone up by 627%. They do shadow pricing. So they’re systematically tracking the prices of their buddy competitors, like Eli Lilly, and they raise their own insulin prices in lockstep with the other companies sometimes just hours after the other one has increased it. And when they were called, called out publicly, and novo were under heaps of scrutiny, their board of directors voted against a proposed insulin price decrease, and instead recommended that the company continue its reactive posturing. So in 2016, their dodgy insulin stuff really hit them hard and their stock prices tanked. in october 2016 They admitted that the market environment in the US has become more more difficult. So they sacked 1000 workers got a new CEO and started a real push for a brand new cash cow. They’re GLP one agonists. So the GLP one agonists are what we’re going to talk about now, but I just wanted to kind of give a little bit of background about why Novo are pushing into the weight loss market. So this is a company that has since it started methodically price gouging a whole country held people ransom for much needed drugs in the process, building a fortune and fucking over countless diabetic patients. And now they’re setting their sights on global domination of this weight loss market. So I don’t know about you, but I have feelings. I think my feelings have feelings like this is really insidiously dark, the marketing practices and this drug as we’ll talk about, it does one thing for people with blood glucose dysregulation, and the thing that it does with it is actually quite effective. And we’ll talk I’m sure we’ll talk about that in detail in a bit. But when used for weight loss, my grave fears is that It will promote earlier onset of diabetes and people who would have not developed that for another few decades probably, if at all within their lifespan, because blood glucose dysregulation is a progressive kind of situation. But at any given individual that could happen, it can happen quite quickly, can happen quite slowly. But the way that this drug works, and enhances good point Fi, can you talk about GLP, one agonists and what they are so we can understand. So this drug basically tickles the type of cell in the pancreas called the beta cells and beta cells job is to produce insulin. So again, I mean, this is kind of core business for Novo Nordisk they know about insulin and other insulin production, they’ve got all the right kind of scientists there to to develop this kind of drug. And this kind of drug is effective at convincing these beta cells to produce more insulin. So in the from progression from normal blood glucose regulation, through blood glucose dysregulation Into what then eventually may meet a diagnostic diagnostic hurdle for a diet, diabetes diagnosis, the process there is that the body wants to produce insulin, but sometimes the B the cells are not producing enough insulin, the body’s tissues, like in muscle tissue, and so forth, are becoming what’s called insulin resistance. So they’re less able to hear the insulin that’s knocking at the cellular doors to come in as a few different reasons for that, it’s it is kind of a complicated process. But if you can give the person insulin or convince those beta cells to make more insulin, that can mask the effect of that insulin resistance. So in effect, the person’s blood tests will come back looking less, like they’re on the path to diabetes, than they would if the drug wasn’t there, essentially. Now, the issue with these beta cells is that in the natural progression of type two diabetes, those beta cells start to get exhausted, and then eventually, they don’t produce any insulin anymore. And at that point, the person becomes somebody who needs insulin through injections in order to be able to metabolize the food that they eat, basically, and not die. So in the normal progression of of diabetes, that not everyone gets to the stage where they need insulin from external sources, most people with type two diabetes will die with type two diabetes and not need extra insulin. But for some people, those beta cells have exhausted themselves and they do need extra, they need insulin from external sources in order to get on with life. But the way this drug works tickling the beta cells to be more effective, that really like groundbreaking thing about this is that it’s in concert with the body’s needs. So when you take a drug, like insulin, you have to time it and dose it according to what you’ve eaten and what your blood sugars are doing. It’s a very kind of manual process. But this drug, the semaglutide, and the liraglutide that are in these, what we’ll talk about the weight loss drugs, are able to enhance the function of beta cells, essentially, like they turn up the dial. So the beta cells work better, which is really clever, it’s actually really exquisitely excellent way to exist longer with less blood glucose dysregulation if that’s what your your body’s doing. But what happened was during those trials for its use in type two diabetes, where it was seen as being actually really good at normalizing blood glucose regulation, and people with early stage, type two diabetes, so it’s just in this window, where the beta cells are still working, but they’re kind of tired, and there’s not that much insulin resistance that will work there. So think newly diagnosed type two diabetes, or so called pre diabetes, which is medicalization of lots of people with very normal blood workers regulation, but that diagnosis will capture some of these people for whom the these drugs will work really well to normalize things for a while. During those trials, it was observed that people lost some weight and Novo Nordisk went, Hey, this is interesting, though it is very, very interesting. So what they did then was thought, well, if a little bit works, let’s try a lot and they doubled the dose. And it did, it did have a weight loss effect in people with blood glucose dysregulation early stages of it. And the reason for that is that the body is much more able to use the energy that they’re consuming, basically. So it works differently from the other weight loss drugs that we’ve talked about. My great fear is that because it tickles these beta cells, and actually probably much more apt term for the double dose is Hammer’s the beta cells, that they’re going to be exhausted much sooner than they otherwise would. And what that does is turn people that didn’t have diabetes into people with diabetes. is now need insulin, these weight loss drugs from Novo Nordisk potentially creating lifelong customers beyond when the you know, they’ve extended the market earlier. So there’s people that wouldn’t normally be their customers, because their main customer base is people with diabetes requiring insulin. They’ve extended their market, and they’ve created new customers. And that’s horrific, totally horrific. And we don’t know yet whether that will be the effect because these things take decades, yes, but I can’t see any other way. Like, that’ beta cell’s not gonna be magically better at doing its job over the lifetime that it exists in that person’s body, it will be exhausted, because that’s what happens to beta cells, particularly when they’re hammered over a long period of time. So the tsunami is coming, basically, of new diagnosis of type two diabetes, for people who take these drugs, particularly for weight loss purposes, is the hammering version of the drug over the long term. And that’s horrific, but how are we going to convince government policy convinced patients and convince medical establishment that they should have grave fears too? Not that I mean, diabetes is not the worst thing that could happen to you, but don’t really want it? If you didn’t have to have it? Do I mean, we should not be inducing this diagnosis for people. Plus what I also, first of all, thank you for saying that I’ve been asking the same question to like every endocrinologist, I can find like what happens when you stimulate the beta cells with a double dose of diabetes medication, somebody doesn’t have type two diabetes, and they’re like, well, we don’t know yet. And I’m like that, right. But like doesn’t, isn’t this a likely outcome? Yeah. And anything for people who’s good, like normal blood glucose regulation, because those beta cells are working just fine. They’re just like, Yeah, I’ll work how I have to work. But further on they start when things are staged, go right a bit. That’s when it’s going to happen. And then once they’re exhausted, no effect again. So there’s a window of opportunity in terms of De Novo Nordisk mind. Yeah, but there’s a lot of people who are existing in that window at the moment, and they’re seeing that as a major market. And my guess is that if those folks do end up developing Type Two Diabetes, they’ll blame it on the fact that they were fat and they start the drug early enough, or do give them enough drugs or it will become a marketing jam. For these people. It’s exactly the same processes when large bodied people end up with cancer, and boom, well, I guess it’s because I was fat, not because larger bodied people can’t have bad luck. And they can’t have genetics, because they can’t get harmed by weight loss drugs. Yeah, yeah. In cycling. Yeah. The only thing that can happen is things that were caused by body weight, the larger body people, apparently, if you listen, if you listen to the prevailing wisdom. Yeah. Yeah. And it’s important to I think, to understand, in the States, at least, Novo Nordisk’s fiduciary responsibility is to its shareholders, not to its patients. So if it will make more money for their shareholders and not cause like the drug to be pulled from the market or some sort of catastrophic financial consequence, then they are ethically going forward with that under their fiduciary responsibility requirements. So these companies don’t work for us their responsibility is not to provide the best health care at the lowest cost or anything their fiduciary responsibility, their legal fiduciary responsibility is to their shareholders, to whom Novo when they were going to launch wegovy promised the fastest post approval launch in history, and a doubling of their quote, obesity sales between 2019 and 2025. Absolutely, this is this is all about the money, and not about the actual safety, or wisdom of like prematurely ejaculating, this new drug all over the world at breakneck speed have we learned nothing? From the last 20 years of weight loss drug? I thinkNovo has learned that it’s an excellent market that won’t bite them in the butt. This is and they can blame anything that goes wrong on their patient patients. Yeah. Right. So they gain the weight back. Well, obviously they didn’t have the right willpower, you know, fat people, they can’t get it together. Like we’ll just risk their lives in more harrowing ways with other drugs. It’s and they’ve also learned that you can do a short term study, as they did 68 weeks for this drug. And they had already started to tick up with the weight regain when they took people off of it. But they’ve crafted this whole narrative of being higher weight as a chronic lifelong health condition. And this has been a long game, right in 2010 to 12 when they were pushing for the AMA to consider being higher weight a disease. There was this group the obesity Action Coalition, which is essentially an astroturf organization, right. It appears to be an advocacy group for higher weight people but it’s in fact fully funded by and acts as a lobbying arm for weight loss interests, and so their platinum funders which were $100 000 or more were all pharmaceutical companies that make weight loss drugs and surgical now, they only have one platinum funder. Novo Nordisk is the only one. So essentially this entire obesity Action Coalition, which claims to represent something like 92 million fat people, right? Basically they just calculated the number of fat people they think exist and claim to represent us all. But really, they’re 100%, a lobbying group for Novo Nordisk, and they’re all over the place plus Novo Nordisk has this huge basically stockyard of doctors on their payroll. Yeah, the New York Times. Yeah. The New York Times ran an article saying like, It’s so terrible that insurance will cover these new GLP one agonists and every doctor quoted was on Novo Nordisk payroll, and there’s no disclosure in the New York Times. This has become my new hobby, though Ragen has been like saying, Woe is me, isn’t it terrible that like there’s weight stigma in the world and fat people aren’t getting their drugs, every single article, it’s there in the NoVo stable, Novo Nordisk I think have the biggest marketing department on the planet. It’s entirely staffed by the obesity researchers and physicians that they’ve paid off. Like, it’s actually very difficult to find people who haven’t been paid by pharmaceutical company, particularly Novo over the last like, it’s just nowhere. And particularly really, when the key term is obesity. So journalists go looking for an expert in obesity, they’re going to find people who work in a weight centric paradigm, and particularly, they’ll find people who have had who’ve received fees from novo. So I just they’re so dominant in the narrative, it’s exceedingly frustrating. And because they’re all doctors, you know, there’s not dietitians that are getting paid by novo. And that’s really interesting, because we dietitians have had the weight loss fairy wands for 40 years, right? Because we’re no better at eliciting weight loss out of a human being in the long term than a pamphlet, actually, which is hysterical in terms of research findings. But in terms of Doctor stereotype, right? It’s really interesting that novo has preferenced medical doctors as being their spokespeople for this messaging. So that means that they’ve got this sort of hierarchical structural power within the community. And when journalists go and want to get quotes about obesity, they will go to someone who’s a doctor and not listen so much to PhD qualified, specifically, expertise in dietitians, for example. And so it’s a way that they’re dominating the conversation, keeping it a medical angle, rather than being able to also show the huge detrimental social effects of stigmatizing larger bodied people, the detrimental effects of gatekeeping healthcare services on the basis of BMI like all of these things, like the human rights issues, elements of it, I’m not interested in those because they can find a doctor who will confirm a negative sort of deficit space narrative. They don’t have to find one they are just funding training, training doctors through a global training network called rethinking obesity, where they educate educating doctors in their 3k key marketing messages that Obesity is a disease that requires medical management and that weight stigma is terrible because it’s a barrier to weight loss treatment. Yeah, it’s a barrier to doctors talking to their patients about their weight, and it’s a barrier for patients to talk to their doctors about weight. There was a huge that paper around weight stigma which is now continually brought up but it was absolutely the joint international consensus statement anytime you see the word consensus, sponsored by Novo Nordisk and people may not realize this, but in the country that you live in probably there is like an obesity organization. Now that obesity organization will be either directly funded or funded via like research grants unrestricted research grants to their board of directors from Novo then that organization will have an arm which is a like Patient Advocate arm, it will be filled by patients of the people in the the obesity organization. Often there’s also a policy organization. Now make no mistake, this pattern is specifically designed and implemented by big pharma with loads of cash to try to influence the governments of those countries that they’re in. We’ve got that set up here in Australia, it’s in the US. It’s in Canada. It’s in Ireland. It’s in Mexico. They’re exactly the same. It’s cookie cutter strategy in order to pave the way for the weight loss drugs. But what happens for the usual mums and dads people just living their lives in larger bodies. They end up being absolutely drenched in the narratives coming from those voices. It’s not a balanced view at all. And no, no, absolutely. It’s being marketed. It’s “mcstigma” It’s like a disease. It’s a global marketing campaign. And if you want to be an investor in Novo Nordisk access their prospectus, like if you want to invest enough, their prospectus will literally tell you this is their global marketing strategy. So it’s no secret. They’re blatant about it. Yeah. I do appreciate that. The Canadian organization has called the Canadian Obesity Network, which isn’t the acronym is CON. So I feel like you’re the only one being honest about what they’re doing. Well, you know what, I’ve changed the name. They now Obesity Canada, so no longer a con, which is, you know, that was at least they were being honest for a while, obesity Canada, they had got they released guidelines a few years ago, and there was so many people who didn’t realize that was not actually the Canadian Health Department’s guidelines, they did not realize that it was clinical guidelines, from this very specific type of voice that was weight centric. It’s really It’s maddening. And they were touted, even here in Australia as being you know that these are fantastically new, blah, blah. That’s because those guidelines have enjoyed unlimited funding from Novo to roll them out globally. And you’ll never get what they’re recommending, not dietitians. That’s very interesting. So I feel like we should talk about how Victoza and saxenda both have black box warnings attached. And that is because multiple clinical trials in rodents showed thyroid tumors. So a lot of concern has been raised about that. Not enough to actually not release it onto the market, of course, but just to make us the guinea pigs in their giant experiment. There’s so thyroid cancer is really rare. It’s It’s unlike the cardiovascular stuff, which can get picked up more quickly. This kind of stuff will take years, like you said to actually be detected. And the FDA did admit that this was going to take a long time, but was also an important thing to take on monitoring. So they introduced a thing called the medullary thyroid carcinoma surveillance registry, which is like a case series registry, which is going to monitor for 15 years, the number of thyroid cancer cases in the United States. You’ll never guess who funds this registry? Yeah, it is the people who market the GLP one it’s all thr drug companies who make it responsible for the post market surveillance of this. Can you believe that? And we’re not going to know anything for 15 years. And this is what we’re relying on in terms of long term safety of Saxenda and Victoza. I mean, the foxes are really in the henhouse here. Uh huh. Yeah, there isn’t even a hen house anymore. It’s just a fox house and then another fox house foxes. But I also want to point out it’s not just the thyroid cell tumors, there’s pancreatitis, acute gallbladder disease, acute kidney injury, heart rate increases suicidal ideation and behaviors like there were multiple really serious things. And so what they’ve done is pick the one that they think probably will have the least the rarest, yeah, the most rare because that the risk of thyroid T cell tumors was actually in rats subjects as opposed to human subjects. So they’ve picked the one that will say, I think are their gambling that it’s likely the rarest. Yeah. And ignoring all the others. And I didn’t mention before, but the side effects for this really horrific, particularly the weightless version. So in wegovy I’ve had multiple reports, including at conferences, where I’ve been presenting about this dietitian saying, I’ve got a patient on it. They can’t eat anything. They’ve got such bad gastro intestinal symptoms. They’re tired all the time. But what do I do? And this, these are questions to endocrinologist who promote these drugs as well. And the response that I have witnessed from those kinds of professionals is like, well, because of course not eating is always preferable, apparently. And I just like, if the effect because some of the effect is in that glucose sensitivity. And then the rest of it is you feel so rotten and horrific, that you can’t eat anything, you feel terrible, you feel compelled to keep taking an injection you’ve taken a week ago, you can’t like that doesn’t just you can’t snap your fingers and be done with the other side. You’re not going to take it the next day or the next the nighttime dose. You are stuck with those symptoms for the next week. And so yeah, but this is this is no this is no solution for a problem that doesn’t exist. It’s It’s dreadful. What’s your name for this drug Fi? I can’t remember what did I call it? I’ve got the hang on I’ll pull up It’s right here. Thank you me from 2019 I’ve called this “expensive diabetes”. But that was prior to this is prior to the wegovy. Coming into the thing. I mean, I then I, I will think about, yeah, we have to think about wegovy, because Saxenda in the clinical trials was much ado about achieving and 8% or eight kilogram on average weight loss over there, I think around one year trial, which has been challenged in by the TGA, actually in Australia, and they said that they think that Novo really overstated the average weight loss on saxenda and that when they actually take intention to treat and other statistical silliness out of it, it doesn’t meet criteria really for meaningful long term weight loss. That’s a difference with wegovy because wegovyis being like absolutely touted all over the planet as a quote unquote ‘game changer’ in the weight loss drug world because it according to their press releases and their clinical trials, which of course, they paid for about 1/3 of their people who took the drug, we could be for a one year reporting that they lost about 20% of their body weight. Now, again, that’s an overstatement because they did the same statistical silliness. So that’s probably a little bit of an overstatement. But this is the first time a weight loss drug has recorded, I guess, meaningful weight loss. And that’s why novo are just absolutely selling this like a cash cow. And so the game has changed there, right, the game has changed across the planet, because now it’s We’re selling a weight loss drug, but with the promise of higher rates of weight loss than has been kind of seen before. So I think too, it needs to be really we need to hammer home, that weight loss is another term for malnutrition, basically. So if you’ve got it doesn’t matter what size you are, if you intentionally lose weight by under feeding yourself or being underfed, whoever’s in charge view, or if you’re in charge me, so that the outcome of that is, is malnutrition. So if we’ve got people who are malnourished to the tune of 20%, body weight loss, if that was if this was like normal land, that would be a malnutrition, diagnosis, and they would be much more medically fragile than the next person who is nourished, they’ve got a higher mortality risk coming into whatever they need to come into medically, in a malnourished state, they have got a higher risk of all the things, ironically, that we tend to be concerned about, generally with higher body weight. So they’ve got a high risk of heart failure, they’ve got a higher risk of osteoporosis, high risk of early death, if they encounter other normal human life limiting things like they get a diagnosis of cancer if they get a diagnosis of things that humans get. You do not want to live malnourished because you will die much sooner than you otherwise would. And so this drug is a malnutrition drug. We need to remember we need to try to remember to always remind people that that is what this is. People are not sort of magically healthier at a slow at a lower weight. They are malnourished if they’ve had weight loss during their adult life. Have we maybe stumbled on on the word for this one? This is ‘expensive malnourishment’. Yeah. So when the trial ended, then they stopped, people stopped taking the drug, they gained the weight back, which is like not a galloping shock. This is what happens with every weight loss. But what Novo Nordisk has done is craft this narrative of being higher weight or obesity, as they like to call it as a chronic lifelong health condition. And what we’re seeing is this, you’ll see it all over the place. So it requires lifelong treatment, like heart disease, or diabetes. And so what they’re saying is, well, yep, you go off our drug, you’ll gain the weight back. So you just never go off our drug, which in the States, by the way, is $1,300 a month. And is not covered by insurance, because it doesn’t work yet. And they’re you know, and then they’re trotting out these people who say, Well, I want to go back on it because I lost weight during the trial without an understanding that these are people who have for a little bit, gotten some more thin privilege, escape some weight stigma, gotten approval, and who believed that being thin by any means necessary is better than being fat. Yeah. But it’s like, at some point, we understand is it true because we’re not just like handing out cocaine to fat people, but we sort of are like, that’s where we’re getting this idea that if it makes you thinner than you’ll be healthier, and we don’t need to worry about what your actual starting metabolic health is. We don’t need to worry about your metabolic health now, but a need to worry about if you’re in constant pain with need to worry about if you’re having thoughts of self harm or acting on those thoughts, because you’re thinner and that’s all that mattered. You’ll feel better. Yeah, well, you’ll feel better but you might not admit that the expensive part is that real like 1600 bucks a month is this is where we kind of neatly come back to where we started with Novo Nordisk. It’s company that almost like professionally price gouged an entire nation for years and years years. They’re not budging on these really high prices for these drugs for these weight loss drugs. It’s really high in the United States. It’s really high here in Australia. I think it’s around 400 bucks a month for saxenda. So what they’re what they’re doing now is lobbying to get their drugs on the public purse in Australia for sure. And funnily enough, they’ve tried to do it in Denmark, and they’ve been knocked back not once, but twice, because Denmark basically said, look, it’s really expensive. And you’ve got no evidence that this even works in terms of impact on health in the long term. So that’s a really heartening outcome in Australia, they trot it off. So this is another beautiful example of how industry money the entanglement of industry money operates at like a political level. So the obesity collective here in Australia, whose launch party was paid for by Novo Nordisk went off to the TGA, alongside Novo Nordisk, to talk to them about how important it was to put these weight loss drugs on the public purse on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. So because they calculated all of this kind of economic benefit, everyone’s going to be happy and terrific and wonderful, but happily, I’m so happy to report that when it came down to the crunch, that PBS rejected them earlier this year saying, This is ridiculous, like saying the same thing that they said in Denmark, which is there’s no evidence long term that this impacts on health, and it’s also fucking expensive. So if they said yes to novo’s proposal, it would be a billion dollars a year on the public purse. And novo, literally with a straight face, trying to pretend that’s economically a good way to spend money on health in Australia. So it’s really lovely that they said no bad luck, Novo Nordisk your preening of the obesity collective and all of your efforts have have failed. And yes, we’re stuck with this very expensive weight loss drug, but we don’t know anything about the long term impact of and I’m bracing myself because, you know, once they finally sorted out their supply issue, when once it comes to market, we’re going to have like a oxycontin style situation on the planet. And you know, I don’t exactly see that as like everyone suddenly brimming with good health. And yeah, what do you reckon Ragen? No, no. And what novo nordisk did that I think is very particularly insidious is when they launched Wegovy, Sorry, I’ve learned that this is really regional. It’s an interesting thing, how we’re pronouncing it. But so what they did when they launched this drug is they also launched a simultaneous what they called an anti weight stigma campaign. And it’s literally called, it’s bigger than me, because, like, get it because fat people are big. Anybody who has to name an anti weight stigma campaign, it’s bigger than me, you know, they don’t know anything about weight stigma, right. But they’re their campaign basically said, the way to solve weight stigma is through weight loss, but people can’t lose weight, because insurance doesn’t cover our drugs. So sign this your anti weight stigma action for today is to sign a petition to get insurance to cover our drugs. And I just always want to point out that the idea that we don’t want to stigmatize fat people, we just want to eradicate them from the earth and prevent any more from ever existing but like in a non stigmatizing way. That’s not actually an anti stigma message right now is not coming from weight neutral health communities is not coming from fat liberation or activist community. This is a for profit message that is allowing them to co opt the work of generations of fat activists and wait neutral health activists in order to sell their drugs. And it’s incredibly insidious, and we have to stay on top of it. Oh, what they’re selling is stigma avoidance. Yes, under the guise of non stigmatizing strategy, as somebody who’s both queer and fat, I hear it, I really, you know, I never directly compare oppressions. But having both of those marginal nations myself, I feel like it’s a lot like saying, Oh, if you don’t enjoy homophobia, like become straight. Right. And so we need lobby coverage for this horrible harmful conversion therapy. Because homophobia is real. It’s not in people’s heads, and they can’t help it. But we got to treat them like obviously, we can’t let them live in peace and thrive, we have to eradicate them. And we have to make billions doing it. So thanks for that, like, yeah, that, you know, if they were actually concerned with stigma, they will be calling out their medical colleagues for not offering care at the weight that people actually are. And instead, the pipeline is take this drug or have the surgery, and then you’ll get the knee that you need, rather than everyone with it so that we know the work of anti stigma is to call these things out like no people should be able to have needs that they need. You just need to do the r&d so that we can do that effectively. And the reason you haven’t is weight stigma, right? So you’ve got to look at what they’re not calling for. They’re not calling for airlines to have seating that fit the communities that want to use planes, they’re not calling for anti discrimination law expansion to include body size. And like a really a really key thing is they using the O word FFFs they, they ran grand nursing rounds. I got this from somebody who is working in the hospitals, like I can’t believe this is happening. And they’re calling it obesity, the elephant in the room. Oh, my God. This is. So first of all, a pharmaceutical company has no business running grand rounds for anyone. Like there’s already a huge problem there. Right. But it happens I understand. It’s part of I personally don’t think it’s the ethical, but to call it obesity the elephant in the room at the same time that you’re claiming to be experts in anti weight stigma and that people everyone should turn to for language advice and for advice on how to do it. That’s beyond ridiculous. It’s ludicrous. It’s unbelievable that this happens, and yet it happens every day. This is where we’re at. So it’s a really dark chapter in obesity inc. It’s it’s really dark, what’s happening right now. And it’s so good that we can kind of thank you for today’s discussion. Because it’s I think I feel like a drink. Like it’s like 1130 in the morning. I need a drink. Because I’m so fired up. But we need to talk about this. We need to get these ideas out there. Because the truth is really being repackaged to be more palatable to like you said, right. And like eradicating human size diversity, which is which is a crime. So yeah, I think for listeners who may be attracted to these drugs, they may sound compelling, even though the episode has been only critique. And you may not have heard this kind of thing before. But if these kind of drugs are attracted to you, and you feel like your health care is being potentially limited on the basis of your body weight by your primary care provider, by your GP, there are people who can help advocate for you to get the care that you need. Without changing your weight do not feel like this is your only choice. Without getting a second opinion, please. Yeah, weight stigma is real. It’s not in our heads. It affects that people in every aspect of our lives, including and often especially in healthcare, I think, just to reiterate what Fi is saying, understand that when we take these drugs, when we do these surgeries are risking our lives and quality of life, in the hopes that we’ll be thin enough to escape weight stigma, and that rarely works. So there are other options. It’s not fair, this isn’t our fault, but it does become our problem. So yeah, just to reiterate what Fi said there are absolutely other options to seek care, besides choosing things that risk your life and quality of life for weight loss. Yeah. But thank you so much for coming and talking about this important stuff today. I think that you’ve left all of our listeners just with so much to think about and keep doing what you’re doing because you’re both absolute rock stars, you are to Lou. Exactly. Thank you. Gosh, I hope you’re deeply fired up about Novo and that you’ve got a better understanding of who they are, what they do and what they’re selling, but you’re not going to believe it. There’s even more so before we finish today, we need to talk about novos a lengthy history of getting themselves into legal and ethical hot water and apparently learning nothing from their mistakes. So in Britain in 2010 Just seconds after their new diabetes drug Victoza was approved, Nova were found in breach of the prescription medicines code of practice or authority or PMCPA for promoting Victoza before they received marketing authorization, making claims and comparisons that were misleading disguising promotional material and failing to provide information about side effects. behavior was so bad that the PMCPA put up ads in medical and pharmaceutical journals to publicly call them out. This didn’t seem to stop them in the USA in 2017. Novo paid out a staggering 58 point 7 million American dollars to settle seven lawsuits which were accusing them of deliberately playing down the cancer risk of Victoza so this lawsuit found that Novo Nordisk trained its sales force to use messages and tactics that created the false impression that the black box warnings on Victoza were erroneous, irrelevant or unimportant. whistleblowers who were working at Novo at the time described how the sales staff were trained to spread the idea that the risk only applied to rats and mice, and on one occasion, sales managers even performed a sketch in front of the entire sales force, making fun of the FTAs concerns. insiders said that Novo sales staff were being disguised as diabetes educators and sent to doctors offices to sell their products after being trained by the Novo Nordisk The marketing department. They encouraged off label prescription of the drug for weight loss and even told physicians not to worry about thyroid cancer because it was easy to treat. In the USA concerns about pancreatic cancer risks with liraglutide led to a staggering 1500 lawsuits against Novo and Merck who also make a GLP, one agonist diabetes drug. Ultimately, these got dropped earlier in 2022, after the judge ruled that the expert testimony in the cases didn’t use good science. I suspect there’s just not enough physicians on the planet that aren’t already on logos payroll, Novo have also pissed off their own investors. In 2021, Novo settled another lawsuit for 100 million American dollars. This was brought by investors who were assured by Novo that they be continuing to make big bucks, even though they knew that their profits were actually sliding down because of all of the insulin price pressures in the US market. They’ve also pissed off the US government in September 2022, they coughed up 6.3 million American dollars to settle another lawsuit, which was brought by the Department of Justice, which accused them of violating US law by selling injection needles to the government that it had manufactured in countries that were not designated. And it seems that Novo just still haven’t learned from their $58 million lawsuit because they’re back again in very hot water with the PMCPA in the UK, for this time for running obesity training, which was actually an advert for saxenda, and they didn’t disclose that they were paying for the whole thing. The PMCPA said it was very concerned about the potential impact on patient safety by providing unbalanced information to a wide audience. And they were so concerned about novo’s behavior, that they’re going to undergo an audit, which is the highest level of punishment that the PMCPA can make. So can we trust them? I don’t know about you. But I for one wouldn’t trust novo to feed my cat. These are cowboys who don’t give a shit about safety or the law. They seem to expect to pay people off when the lawsuits come and they just keep doing the same thing. And now it seems we need to add incompetence to the laundry list of Novo just months after the launch of Wegovy in mid 2021 supplies as semaglutide all over the planet dried up which of course screwed over everyone with diabetes who need ozempic. The CEO and other Novo insiders have pleaded ignorance claiming that they just didn’t anticipate such strong demand, which is utter bullshit. Apparently they rely on just one factory to make wegovy and their supply chain completely imploded in December 2021. After their Belgian factory was shut down because of dodgy manufacturing practices Novo are now planning to develop what they call in house manufacturing factories, thus pocketing more money, which are allegedly going to be operational early in 2023. They even snapped up an Old Purdue pharma factory. Isn’t that poetic? It’s interesting to know that while Australia struggles to deal with a massive ozempic shortage reportedly impacting 125,000 Australians with diabetes over in the more lucrative american market Novo are bragging about their success in being able to continue to service their brand new extremely profitable, wiggly customers, all 125,000 of them, considering that wegovy is chemically the same drug as Ozempic. I smell a rat. It is utterly outrageous that Novo Nordisk and not being held to account for their treatment of people with diabetes. It’s unconscionable to impact supply of an effective diabetes medication in order to service a more lucrative weight loss market. The media haven’t been nearly suspicious enough uncritically blaming social media trends or celebrities using these drugs. And no one is really putting the focus on this diabolical company. So now the world is waiting for novo to attain complete control over the manufacturing of these drugs. So we’re all going to be at the mercy of novos in house factories in this drug supply. What could go wrong? As all of us who lived through the Great toilet paper shortage from early COVID will remember, nothing creates demand like not enough supply. Novo has the whole planet on the hook like Game of Thrones fans hankering for season eight. And once the factory doors open, the world needs to brace for the onslaught of wegovy fever and all of its dastardly consequences. The history of weight loss drugs is really dark. This new chapter is bigger and badder than ever before. The prospect of the weight loss drug market being dominated by Novo Nordisk a company with a proven track record of price gouging profiteering price fixing not to mention making massive payoffs to Congress, the FDA medical associations and physician Here’s a company which has faced multiple lawsuits and penalties for misleading the public about side effects and risks of their drugs. A company which has been the subject of multiple lawsuits from customers and investors, accusing them of lies and cover ups. This is the company who have developed the modern day fen Phen. It certainly is a game changer. But I feel the game is rigged and that the House will always win dark days ahead, my friends, we need to stay strong. So thank you to my amazing guests Ragen Chastain. You can find her at or at Ragenchastain on Insta. And please join her substack for her amazing weight and health care newsletters. And she also does monthly workshops. She’s just incredible. She’s always doing stuff. And also follow Dr. Fi Willer on Twitter, which is her natural habitat @Fionawiller. And if you’re a health professional, check out her website health not to find all sorts of things including online health professional training in weight science and weight inclusive health care. And if you’re a regular human, you can find more at unpacking weight, which has some lovely resources to help myth bust and learn more about weight inclusive care, including her awesome podcast. Thank you so much everyone for sticking with me for this epic two parter. I would really love to hear what you think. So please find me on Instagram at untrapped_au or send me an email I’ve also written a blog about wegovy and you can find that on the website under blog or I recently joined medium and it’s up there so you can sign up and try and find me on medium at Louise_untrapped so far. I’ve got seven followers on medium and I’d love more. Okay, so that’s it, folks. Time for that drink. I think I really look forward to speaking with you again soon. But in the meantime, trust your body and critically push back against diet, culture and trap from the crap