Pharmacy Focus: Limited Series: Celebrity Endorsements in Ozempic

Season 2, Episode 13,   Mar 13, 01:00 PM

Editor’s Note: This was recorded prior to Wegovy being approved for cardiovascular disease. View the story here.

This podcast episode discussed the impact of celebrity endorsements on trends in weight loss drugs like Ozempic, body image issues, and the role of pharmacists in educating patients on appropriate use of GLP-1 medications for weight management and chronic diseases.

Experts Include: 
Patricia Mars, MD, owner and medical director of Venus By Mars Cosmetic Surgery and La Paloma Surgery Center; Donna H. Ryan, MD, Professor Emerita at Pennington Biomedical Research Center; and Christina Madison, PharmD, FCCP, AAHIVP, the Public Health Pharmacist.

Key Takeaways
1. Celebrities have long shaped cultural ideals around aesthetics and beauty through their own appearance trends.
2. Social media promotion of weight loss journeys using GLP-1 drugs like Ozempic by influencers increased public interest, but also risked unsafe practices without medical oversight.
3. While celebrity disclosure of personal experiences can boost awareness of obesity as a medical condition, it's important for endorsements to encourage safe and supervised use of pharmaceutical therapies.
4. Compounded versions of medications like semaglutide lack proper quality control and approval, posing potential dangers.
5. Pharmacists play a key role in educating patients on appropriate and regulated use of emerging weight loss therapies.

1. Han SH, Safeek R, Ockerman K, et al. Public Interest in the Off-Label Use of Glucagon-like Peptide 1 Agonists (Ozempic) for Cosmetic Weight Loss: A Google Trends Analysis. Aesthet Surg J. 2023;44(1):60-67. doi:10.1093/asj/sjad211
2. Arillotta D, Floresta G, Guirguis A, et al. GLP-1 Receptor Agonists and Related Mental Health Issues; Insights from a Range of Social Media Platforms Using a Mixed-Methods Approach. Brain Sci. 2023;13(11):1503. Published 2023 Oct 24. doi:10.3390/brainsci13111503
3. Quddos F, Hubshman Z, Tegge A, et al. Semaglutide and Tirzepatide reduce alcohol consumption in individuals with obesity. Sci Rep. 2023;13(1):20998. Published 2023 Nov 28. doi:10.1038/s41598-023-48267-2